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Sleeping 5-Year-Old Found in School Bus Lot After Missing Drop-Off — & No One Told Her Mom

Parents of a 5-year-old in Kentucky are wondering why it was their own kindergartener, and not the school, who told them she took an unintended detour to school Monday morning. Mom Christina Estvanko of Hebron, Kentucky, says it was her daughter Zaylee who revealed that she woke up on the school bus in the bus lot, six miles from her school, when the driver was checking for any children.

“Nine o’clock Monday night, Zaylee climbs up with me and dad and said, ‘Yea I popped my head over the seat and the bus driver said, “What are you doing here?’” And I said, what are you talking about?” Estvanko told FOX19. The child had gone to sleep on the bus on the way to school. When the driver found her, he drove her back to the school and she went to her classroom as usual.

Estvanko estimates her daughter was likely missing for 30 minutes — the time between when she should have arrived at school with the other bus-riding students and when the driver returned her to the school — though Zaylee did not arrive late for her kindergarten class. However, no one notified Zaylee’s family that she was missing or about the incident.

In a statement, the Boone County School District said Zaylee “was found sleeping on a school bus by the bus driver. The child was found with the assistance of a device used on school buses in the state of Kentucky called ‘No Child Left Behind.’ The device is an alarm that comes on once a bus is driven back to the bus lot not allowing the driver to leave the bus until every seat is checked for sleeping children.”

That’s a cool device, but it seems like maybe it should make the driver check the bus before he leaves the school grounds in the morning to make sure all the kids got off the bus to go to school. We’re glad it helped him find Zaylee on Monday though, because it’s pretty cold in Kentucky this time of year. And while it all worked out fine, the school should definitely have notified her parents about what happened.

“Boone County School bus drivers are diligent and conscientious in following all protocols to ensure the safety of students while in their care and on the bus,” the statement continued. “The child’s mother has since told the principal her child frequently falls asleep during car rides and requested that in the future the bus driver check for her each morning before leaving the school for the bus lot. The bus driver is happy to accommodate the mother’s request.”

Aw, that’s sweet. And also his job. But still sweet!

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