When South Carolina mom Victoria Stone told her son to let the bus driver know he felt sick, the last thing she expected was for the 11-year-old to be abandoned on the side of the road. But that’s exactly what happened.
Sending a child to school on the bus comes with a host of worries. What if the bus is involved in an accident? What if the other kids on the bus are bullies? What if the child gets off at the wrong stop?
We have to push aside those fears and trust in the system that delivers students to and from school safely every day. But what happens when the driver completely fails?
At 11, Victoria Stone’s son Joe is old enough to have a cell phone. He called his mom from the bus just after being picked up in the morning, and told her he couldn’t breathe and he needed to throw up. She did what any mom would do. She told him to tell the bus driver — the adult temporarily charged with the safety of his young passengers.
Instead of helping Joe, the driver left the child on the side of the road at the next bus stop and drove away. Stone jumped in her car and rushed to find her son. “If I wouldn’t have slowed down, I would have run over my own child. He was on his knees, throwing up,” Stone told WLTX19.
According to Spartanburg District Five Schools spokesperson Melissa Robinette, the driver — an 11-year veteran — has resigned. The school district will be investigating the incident, which clearly went well outside of bus driver protocol.
How did the driver think it was a good idea to leave a sick, vomiting child alone on the side of a road? I know that buses run on a strict schedule, but there’s no excuse to abandon a kid having a medical emergency. Buses get delayed for all kinds of reasons and school districts are aware of these potential delays. Waiting for a vomiting, scared child to be picked up by his mother is definitely a legitimate reason for the rest of the kids to be a little tardy in the morning.
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