Disabled girl left in hot school bus - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Disabled girl left in hot school bus

Assistant Superintendent Mickey Key Assistant Superintendent Mickey Key
Anaysha Waddell's wheelchair Anaysha Waddell's wheelchair

August 20, 2003

Colquitt County - A south Georgia bus driver resigns after leaving a disabled student in a hot bus for almost an hour. School officials are making sure this carelessness doesn't happen again.

Anaysha Waddell has to sit in a wheelchair because she has cerebral palsy. School Assistant Superintendent, Mickey Key, says, "The child was sitting in back of the bus in the wheelchair."

On Friday, the seven-year-old was found unconscious inside bus # 37, which was parked in front of the bus driver's home. The Sunset Elementary student was dehydrated, but alive.

Keys says, "We're highly upset too, and the driver and the monitor, these were good ladies, and they are terribly upset also."

Anaysha was overlooked by two people. The bus driver, Margaret Dixon, and the monitor resigned Monday morning. Key explains, "Sometimes a student would have special needs that the driver can't attend to. The monitor is there to help in that situation."

The girl was left sitting in a wheelchair for 45 minutes in the back of the bus. School officials say this will not be tolerated. They even had bus drivers sign a form saying they will always check the seats before leaving the bus.

The letter reinstates what bus drivers have been trained to do all along. It states: "This inspection and walk-through shall at a minimum include walking from the front of the bus all the way to the rear emergency exit door of the bus. During this walk I will examine each seat on both sides of the bus from front to rear..."

Key says, " I tell our parents, I want something positive to come out of this situation. If it could heighten the awareness with drivers and monitors, and I think it has."

The girl was found by Transportation Director Christine Page after Anaysha's mother reported the girl missing. Anaysha's mother says she's doing better.

Dixon refused to comment. She's still under investigation by Moultrie Police. School officials would not release the monitor's name and the police report didn't mention her.

posted at 5:34PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com