PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A family said their special-needs child was neglected and left outside his school by the bus driver this week.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, it was the third such incident this month involving a young student in the Paterson School District. And it has now happened with three separate bus companies.
Dockothy Davis is a concerned grandfather. He said his 9-year-old special needs grandson came home Wednesday and told him he was left in the parking lot of Paterson School No. 15, by his bus driver and aide from Jersey Kids Incorporated Bus Company.
On Thursday, Davis waited at the school to see what was going on.
“I go in the back and I see him back there to the fence, and I looked around. There’s no one there. So I took him; I walked him inside the school,” Davis said.
If a school aide is not waiting outside, the bus aide is supposed to walk the kids into the school. But there seems to be a disconnect.
“I immediately told security that bus just dropped him off without any supervision,” Davis said.
Students are dropped off up and around the back of the school. But Davis’ concern is that anyone can come in and any student can go out.
Davis showed CBS2 the wrought iron fence in front of which his grandson was dropped off. Part of the fence was broken and sitting on the ground.
“You can see here that the gate here — this fence is wide open,” Davis said.
Down the hill beyond the broken fence, there is a homeless encampment and trash has been thrown everywhere. On the other side is a gate with no lock.
“They need some type of new type of system how to monitor what’s going on,” Davis said.
On Monday, as 6-year-old boy was left on an A-1 Elegant bus after he fell asleep. That was after a kindergartner was left behind on Friday morning by employees of U.S. Student Svc. bus company.
A representative of Jersey Kids Transportation told CBS2 there was no issue Thursday. But he said there is a problem getting to school on time, because the driver picks up 15 to 16 special needs students a day.
Davis said because the bus drivers are running late, they just rush off after kids are on school property.
Local schools Supt. Eileen Schafer wants parents to know that she is taking this matter very seriously and she will terminate contracts and drivers if necessary. She said specifically that Jersey Kids Bus Company will be fined and if it happens again, possibly terminated.
The school principal will be there to make sure the children are not dropped off at school too early or without adult supervision.