Disabled child spends school day abandoned on the bus
July 14, 2015
A driver for the Goleta school district left a 4-year-old boy with brain damage sitting on a parked school bus for four hours last week. [KCOY]
On the morning of July 6, the driver was transporting four children to summer school. The driver delivered the other three kids to school and then drove to the bus yard at the Goleta Valley Community Center.
Emilio Garcia was still strapped in his seat when the bus arrived at the community center yard. The driver left the bus and returned four hours later to find that Emilio was still on the bus.
Emilio’s mother, Mirna Ramirez, said she received a phone call from the school district telling her what happened. Ramirez picked up Emilio, who was still on the bus and crying when she arrived, Ramirez said.
A paramedic examined Emilio and cleared him to go home.
Goleta Superintendent William Banning said there are protocols on drivers checking the bus for children that should have prevented the incident. Banning would not say, though, whether the district has taken disciplinary action against the driver.
An investigation is ongoing, Banning said.
Emilio was born with a condition that caused brain damage. He has been taking special needs summer classes at Kellogg School, for which he recently started riding the bus.