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TIFTON, GA (WALB) –A frightening afternoon for a Tift County family when their child didn't return from school. Turns out the child was left on a primary school bus.
The student was found, still on that bus, yesterday afternoon. The child is okay and now an investigation is underway into just how it happened.
It's something parents, bus drivers, and school districts not only fear but try to avoid.
"We try to make sure we provide the safest transportation for our children and this incident is a reminder that we constantly need to be diligent," said Robby Dasher, Dir. of Operations.
A child being left behind on a bus.
"We take this very seriously and we are going to do everything within our power to make sure this does not occur ever again," said Dasher.
Tuesday afternoon a call came in from a concerned parent wondering why their child had not returned home yet.
"We initiated a search and it was discovered at that time," said Dasher.
School officials say the child was discovered on the bus around 4:30 after one of the afternoon routes,
"It's an ongoing investigation, we're looking into exactly what happened and how the events occurred," said Dasher.
Robby Dasher, Director of operations says the school system has policies in place to make sure these situations don't happen."We do have safety guidelines that dictate that is a post trip requirement that at an end of a route you walk your bus and make sure it is clear,
And some of the newer model buses, even have a special child safety feature in place,
"When you end a route you have to go to the rear of the bus, disable the alarm to help clear your bus any students left on the bus," said Dasher.
Including the bus, the child was left on.
"It is my understanding that yes, this bus does have the alarm on it and that's part of the investigation some of the things we are looking at, said Dasher.
School board officials would not speak directly about what happens to the bus driver.
"This is a personnel issue and we have taken the necessary steps to make sure this will not happen again," said Dasher.
And until the investigation is complete, school board officials say they will not release any more information on the incident.
School officials say as the investigation unfolds more details will become clear.
WALB News 10 is told that all bus drivers previously signed acknowledgments that leaving a child on a bus is grounds for dismissal.
We don't know what's being done with the bus driver in this case.