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Student gets off at wrong stop; driver removed from route

SUGAR HILL -- A school bus driver who allowed a 5-year-old student with autism to get off at the wrong stop has been taken off the route while district officials review the employee's training.

Sloan Roach, a spokesperson with Gwinnett County Public Schools said the student, who attends Sugar Hill Elementary, "was put on the right bus, but got off one stop early" on the way home from school on the first day.

Added Roach: "Instead of going to the daycare down the street, he got off at a nearby apartment complex. When the bus got to the daycare center, the school was notified. At that point, the school began the process of looking for the child, while an adult at the apartment complex (where the child was) used information that child had to contact the parents."

Roach said the school principal has met with the parents "to review steps to ensure that this never happens again."

Meanwhile, a new driver has been put on the route and a buddy system has been implemented for the student, who has now been assigned to the front seat behind the driver.

Comments

ssilover1 2 years, 3 months ago

Why is this news? I get so sick and tired of the school district being the way to sell papers.

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notblind 2 years, 3 months ago

Next story will be about the law suit about this situation.

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ssilover1 2 years, 3 months ago

Hey, lawyers, 160,000 students got home. Nuf said.

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gwinnettresident1 2 years, 3 months ago

I know this child was to get off at a daycare. I drive a bus in Gwinnett and i have many 5 year old students that get off at their home or apt and no parent waiting...When my children were that age someone from my family or my neighbors were there to meet them. Where has the responsibility of the parents gone..

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Motor76 2 years, 3 months ago

AMEN!!!! Is the bus driver to take all the blame? I think not.

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 3 months ago

I've been talking about this for years. I have friends that teach in several school districts around the state and each of them will tell you that parental responsibility seems to have disappeared.

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news2me 2 years, 3 months ago

A 5 year old with autism should not be riding a bus. A parent with a special needs child should know better.

With that being said, I thought GCPS elementary students are given ID tags with pertinent bus info (number and street names at the stop) etc on it that they 'zip tie' to their backpack. The first days of school these id tags are handmade so that even your typical elementary student is not "lost" and safetey pinned on the child's shirt each day until these hard plastic ID cards are made up.

Rant: In my opinion, the parents of students that need special care should pay extra for these 'above and beyond' services. Even parents of so called 'gifted' students should have to pay more for the extra teaching attention. The basics of a public school education are all that the taxpayers should be expected to pay.

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 3 months ago

To play devil's advocate on this issue: I would say it depends on the level of autism. The article says it was a child with autism. It doesn't detail the level of functionality within society that the child displays. The child could have the ability to function well within society.

I'm actually happier that there was an adult who was responsible enough to take care of the child without doing anything untoward. In this day and age, you can never be too sure.

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Blenderhead73 2 years, 3 months ago

"A 5 year old with autism should not be riding a bus."

Okay. How do you propose that the child gets to school? This is for situations where the parent(s) work and have to report to their jobs before drop-off time begins.

Clearly, you do not have a child with special needs nor understand varying levels of autism, based on your moronic statements of how parents should "know better" than to put their autistic child on a school bus. My 2nd grader is what is called "high-functioning autistic" and rides a special needs bus. If my work schedule could allow it, I would be more than happy to drive him to and from school. However, I work 40 hours a week (and am THANKFUL to be employed during this recession), a single parent who doesn't mooch off of the "gub'ment", and also a homeowner and taxpayer who already happily chips in for school funding. With regards to your "parents of students that need special care should pay extra" - believe me, I DO. I pay "extra" everytime I have to purchase supplements and specialty food items, I pay "extra" in my health insurance premiums that only half-covers my son's condition. I pay "extra" for speech therapies, occupational therapies, behavioral therapies, social skills summer camps, etc. All out of pocket.

The long and short of it: the bus driver screwed up, the parents obviously have the child at a daycare for after-school supervision due to work schedules, and let's be thankful that nothing bad happened to the child. Sorry for the autism-soapbox, but your statements were extraordinarily ignorant. Have a pleasant day.

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ssilover1 2 years, 3 months ago

If you have a special needs child, take the time to meet the bus or require the care giver to do that. Nuf said...

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gwinnettresident1 2 years, 3 months ago

They are given bus tags..Lets say that you have 68 children at one bus stop...The apts. Now the driver needs to watch the students get off the bus to make sure none go under the bus. The driver also has to cross students in front of the bus and keep the from being hit. The driver also has to watch for bullying as the students get off and not falling down the stairs. Now after all that we have to check name tags while all along you are sitting behind my stop sign flipping me off or blowing the horn at me..Not bad huh.easy day....We do try and we try very hard....I love my job and love watching the children grow up. I have watched k-5 now in high school...Its a nice feeling....If you have a suggestion for what we could do to improve...I for one will certainly listen and give it a try

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Gundoctor1 2 years, 3 months ago

Look folks, I am an attorney. How do you people expect me to survive in this economy? Can I leave my contact info here?

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teelee 2 years, 3 months ago

Don't blame the bus driver, blame the policy and the parents. Gwinnett schools are great at
covering up stuff.

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lynnister 2 years, 3 months ago

@news2me-I have two children with autism and they've been riding the bus for 2 years. Please explain why I should know better than to let them ride the bus? They attend school all day in a very large school with many students and many exit doors they could get out of...should I know better than to send them there too? These individuals that drive buses and teach are children are trusted to look after the best interests of our kids. I would be curious to know if this was a regular bus or a special needs bus. Mine ride a special needs bus and I get them on the bus and I'm there to greet them every afternoon. BTW, I bet many parents of children with special needs would be more than happy to chip in some extra $ if that meant their children got the services they need to make them fully functioning members of society as adults.

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gwinnettresident1 2 years, 3 months ago

I try not to comment more than once. This one deserves a second remark. Why did this child not ride special needs. Then also why did the daycare worker not meet the bus with a roster and check children as they got off bus. The daycares i have driven for that is one of my first request and i dont give up until i have them check the children within the first day or so..Lets start standing up to the plate and take the blame. Dont put it on the lowest person in the stack just so the top looks ok....Reg ed drivers have 50 to 70 students special needs have 3 or 4....which would have been better for this child

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Susan 2 years, 3 months ago

When I worked in an afterschool care program one of us was ALWAYS out there to meet the bus. If students were absent, parents were expected to notify the center before the bus came. And if they didn't, the bus driver and most of the kids were aware of whether or not the child boarded the bus.

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news2me 2 years, 3 months ago

NO, I do not have a child with Autism. I guess that I should have revealed that I have a nephew with Asperger syndrome that attends GCPS.

A 5 year old riding the bus for the first time needs extra attention from their parents the first week to ensure everything runs smoothly. Why would an even mildly Austic child not deserve the same detailed attention to a new routine from their parents?

The tongue lashing the from new over defensive posters was fun to read though. I post only on stories that I have some sort of knowledge of the subject matter, most people do. Moronic and ignorant .... Have a pleasant day!

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gwinnettbusdriver 2 years, 3 months ago

Yes, the student would get the individual attention that is needed on a special needs bus instead of a regular ed. The bus drivers responsibility when the students are getting off the bus is to make sure they are out of the danger zone OUTSIDE of the bus, not who is getting off!!!!! Yes, were is the parent or a responsible adult waiting for the child. Especially dropping off at apartments. You might have 60-70 kids getting off at that stop. I have delivered kids to the same apartments for the last 4 years and do know my children, but I also have new kids (5 year olds) getting off there with no one waiting on them. I drop at the front entrance to the apartments and have no idea where these kids go once they walk down the driveway. I understand parents have to work, but thats when you put them in a daycare for them to receive off the bus. Special needs buses deliver their students directly in front of their house or place where they need to go, where reg buses do not.

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ssilover1 2 years, 3 months ago

Why is this in the newspaper, Frank??? You must have nothing else to report.

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 3 months ago

ssilover1 - You do realize that pretty much every reporter for a newspaper doesn't choose their own stories, but are usually assigned them by an editor, right? A beat writer for a sports team or covering police beats might have a bit more freedom in their story choices. But I doubt seriously that Frank went and looked for this story.

Also, I don;t really have a problem with new stories highlighting the ineptitude of government employees.

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gwinnettresident1 2 years, 3 months ago

Government employees do the best we can with what the tax payers give us. There are programs we have tried like gps with a student tag. The problem is if the county made it a must to have the tag if you ride the parents would throw a fit and lay in the street beating their heads complaining.

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NewsReader 2 years, 3 months ago

Because this stupid crap is news that gets broadcasted all over the planet so that make believe publications like The Huffington Post will have something to talk about.

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