MANSFIELD, Ohio - Rita Adams’ four-year-old daughter, Kizzy, won’t be riding the school bus again anytime soon.
On Tuesday, the sleeping preschooler was inadvertently left on a school bus for nearly six hours by the bus driver and an aide, Adams said.
“Her dad put her on the bus about 7:45 a.m. The bus was having mechanical problems, they told him, so they went back to the bus garage to switch buses,” Adams said.
When the bus driver and her assistant switched buses, they failed to check and make sure all the children were off, according to a police report.
“And my daughter ended up being locked in the bus with the windows up and the doors shut for almost six hours,” Adams said.
When Kizzy didn’t come home on the afternoon school bus Adams knew something was terribly wrong.
“After calling the school, she said, ‘Well, we have her down as absent.’ I said, ‘What do you mean absent? I put her on the bus this morning,’” Adams said.
Adams said that after a frantic search of the school and not getting anywhere, she headed over to the school bus garage.
When they opened the door they found Kizzy locked inside one of the buses — sweating, upset and having to go to the bathroom.
A Mansfield City Schools spokesman emailed Fox 8 News a statement, which reads in part:
“This is an oversight that cannot be tolerated. It is the responsibility of the bus driver and any adult aide on the bus to check every row to be sure all students have exited the bus…”
They wrote that the driver and the aide are on paid administrative leave during an investigation.
Adams wants the bus driver and assistant bus driver charged with child endangerment.
“It was 60-degrees. Had it been even today, or the day before, she wouldn’t have been so lucky,” she said.
Police have forwarded the case to the Mansfield City Law Director to determine if charges will be filed.
Kizzy will not be returning to the preschool, Adams said.