Mt. Vernon, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Sleeping on the job.
A Westchester County mother says her special needs daughter is worried about going to school because her bus monitor is always asleep, and she has the pictures to prove it.
CBS2’s Jessica Moore demanded answers from the bus company.
Mt. Vernon mother Norina C. doesn’t want to give her last name, but she is outraged, reported CBS2’s Jessica Moore.
“I’m not speaking out about my kid. I’m talking about all the kids on the bus. This is a public safety issue,” Norina told Moore.
Not once, not twice, but three times. Norina says her 13-year-old daughter Kayla photographed her bus monitor sleeping on the 15-mile route to Irvington Middle School.
“You always have to back your stuff up with proof. It’s not just I said, he said. No. You were sleeping mister, and you don’t need to be working,” Norina said.
“She has three separate photos of him sleeping?” Moore asked.
“Yes. This happens every day. It’s appalling and all the parents should be outraged. What if a kid has an epileptic seizure on the bus? He’s in the back. What’s the driver supposed to do, pull over on the highway?” Norina said.
What makes the situation worse is all the students on Kayla’s bus are special needs.
“His job is to be in front to aid the children up on the bus. He’s not doing that. He’s in the back, catching Zs. I know everybody want to be in bed at 6:40 in the morning, but if you got a job, you gotta do it,” Norina said.
Norina says she doesn’t blame the school. She blames the bus company, All County Bus, whose owner told Moore the monitor admitted he was sleeping on the job.
Owner Donald Gregory is equally upset.
“So when you see these pictures, and you know now this is, in fact, your employee,” Moore said.
“Very upsetting. As a parent, I’d be upset too. So she has every right to be upset. This is not what we train our monitors to do,” Gregory said.
All County employs 425 people and is responsible for transporting roughly 1,500 special needs students to and from New York City and Westchester County schools. Monitors are required to take a two-hour training course every year, and Gregory says most buses are also equipped with cameras to monitor the monitors.
“These kids are fragile, they need everything we have, and a sleeping monitor isn’t going to work,” Gregory said.
So what does he plan to do about it?
“As it relates to parents, there’s nothing I can say except I’m sorry, I can’t take it back,” said Gregory. “I mean, he was absolutely sleeping, and it should not happen, and will be addressed.”
Gregory told Moore the union bus monitor will be suspended effective immediately, permanently removed from that route, and faces possible termination.