PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey father is furious after his young son was left abandoned on a school bus for hours on Wednesday.
CBS 2’s John Slattery spoke to the child, who fortunately was unharmed, and his unhappy father.
“I was standing up,” four-year-old Barry Gamble Jr. said.
His father, Paterson resident Barry Gamble Sr., said he’s outraged thinking about what could have happened.
“Somebody could have abducted him, it could have been too hot, he could have had heat stroke,” he said. “Anything could have happened on that bus.”
The child’s father said he put his son on the bus at 8:15 a.m., and his name was checked off by a driver’s aid. However, the child apparently fell asleep in the back of the bus and went unnoticed until 1 p.m.
“I’m assuming when they went to the bus to load up the kids to take them home is when they found him,” Barry Sr. said. “How did they not notice he wasn’t in class if his name was checked off? That means someone’s not doing their job.”
The executive director of the preschool, Concerned Parents for Head Start on 35th Street, was not available to comment.
Gamble, though, said he was told that both the driver and the driver’s aide were fired after what he said was a traumatic experience for his son.
“He didn’t have a bathroom to go to or anything, so he had wet pants and said he was hungry,” he said.
Other parents at the school expressed concern.
“I considered having my child use the school bus, but now I’m reconsidering that option,” parent Michelle Leak said.
Barry Gamble said that as he contemplates legal action, his son – who will start kindergarten in the fall – is now afraid of getting onto a yellow bus.
Gamble said he’s also concerned that the school waited more than 90 minutes before notifying him of the mistake.
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