A school bus driver who left a special needs student strapped in a wheelchair on a school bus for at least an hour on Wednesday will never be allowed to drive for the school board again, said Student Transportation Services Manager Gabrielle McMillan on Thursday.
"A student was left on the bus after drop-off in the morning and wasn't discovered for a short period of time," said Scott Scantlebury, spokesperson for the Windsor-Essex County District School Board.
"He's fine. He's suffering no ill-effects from the experience, and we're working with his family to make sure that he's okay in every way."
Scantlebury described a "series of unfortunate events" that led to the oversight during Wednesday morning's Forest Glade Elementary School drop-off.
The educational assistant charged with picking up the autistic student on the bus called in sick, and the other educational assistants failed to tend to the student, assuming the boy was taken care of. Then the bus driver failed to check the bus before leaving the school and parking it.
School board responsible
Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the school board and the incident is under investigation, said Scantlebury. But the public school board contracts out bussing to various local providers, so the bus driver isn't a board employee, he said.
Bus drivers are expected to check their bus before they leave a school, said McMillan. Since that didn't happen, the driver won't be working for the board in the future, she said.
Windsor Police also investigated the incident and have decided not to press any charges.