Officials say a bus driver and attendant for the Office of the State Superintendent's Department of Transportation have been fired after they left a 4-year-old boy on the bus unattended.
The child was picked up by the bus at 7:35 Tuesday morning. Officials say once the bus arrived at Walker Jones Educational Campus, the student did not get off. The bus was driven to the SW terminal, where the driver and attendant got off the bus.
They did not notice the child sleeping on board.
Officials say the duo apparently disconnected an alarm that would have ensured they saw the child.
State Superintendent of Education Hosanna Mahaley explained, "When they turn the bus off, the buzzer goes off and they have to walk to the back to turn it off to ensure that there are no students on there. These two individuals disabled the buzzer on their bus."
Six and a half hours later, the 4-year-old was discovered when the driver and attendant were doing a pre-trip inspection. The boy was seated in his booster seat - awake and not crying.
The terminal director informed the DOT director and the boy's mother. An EMT was also called to check the child. He was then released to his mother.
The third floor of Walker Jones is a special evaluation center for small children with special needs.
Calvin Perry has three children there.
"If that was my child, I couldn't tell you I could be calm like this right now. We can thank God that nothing happened to the little guy," Perry said.
Others are asking why the teacher didn't notice the child was absent.
Parent Daneka Davis added, "Somebody in the school should have known he did not show up or at least could have called the parent and make sure."
The Office of the State Superintendent's Department of Transportation provides transportation students with special-needs in the district.