3-year-old dropped off at wrong home prompts retraining for some Fla. bus drivers


A Brevard County, Florida, mother said instead of being dropped off in front of his house, her 3-year-old son ended up at a nearby apartment complex 2 miles from his home.

The bus driver is on paid leave while the investigation continues.

Because of the incident and some other recent incidents, every bus driver in the county has been or will be retrained on release procedures.

WFTV.com found out the transportation area supervisor has also met with each driver in the north area, to make sure they're aware of the policies that are in place to protect students.

Virginia Merritt said she didn't know what to think Monday when her 3-year-old was not dropped off at his bus stop, which is in front of the family's Titusville home.

“All I felt was that adrenaline rush. I couldn't think straight at that. I couldn't think straight,” Merritt said.

She raced over to Riverview Elementary School, where her son attends Head Start, but he wasn't there either.

But a parent called the school from the Forest Park apartments to say she was with a child who was not with a parent.  

“Whatever rules they are supposed to follow in training, evidently yesterday nobody followed any of them,” Merritt said.

Brevard County Public Schools officials said the driver did not follow proper protocol, which requires pre-K and kindergarten students to have a parent or designated individual meet them at their bus stop and possibly show identification.

It’s the most recent transportation issue for the district. Earlier this month, a special-needs student was left on her bus, and in August, a driver dropped a 5-year-old off on U.S. 1 after she boarded the wrong bus.

“When he woke up this morning for school, he was crying and said he didn't want to go,” Merritt said.

The district’s transportation services director said, "In light of these recent situations, every driver has retrained or will be retrained regarding the release of students. We were told supervisors would also be periodically checking bus videos to make sure drivers are in compliance.”

A daily checklist is being developed containing pre-K procedures for the instructional assistants who ride the bus with drivers, and it'll be kept in the bus at all times.


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