RPS Officials Investigating After 4-Year-Old Child Left On Richmond School Bus

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — 8News has learned some upsetting new details surrounding the preschool student left on a school bus for hours in the cold.

The child was later found wandering alone in the Fulton area of Richmond.  She’s doing okay as Richmond Public School leaders are conducting an investigation.

“There’s no excuse for us and I mean absolutely no excuse,” said RPS assistant superintendent Tommy Kranz.  “Our job is to bring those children home safe and secure each and every day and we didn’t do that.”

Administrators tell us the bus driver and an attendant dropped kids off at Maymont School around 9:10 Monday morning.

The driver then went to his house in the Fulton area nearly three miles away.

It’s unclear if the attendant stayed with him or was dropped off somewhere.

Meanwhile, the girl remained on the bus as the temperature outside hovered around 35 degrees.

“Apparently this four year old was on the bus, got up, opened the door, and then proceeded walking down the street,” said Kranz.

Someone saw the girl around 11:20 – two hours after drop off.

Police were called, they found her, and drove her home.

“We talked briefly with the parent, saw the child, and saw that everyone was safe and secure,” said Angela Jones, RPS Director of Student Services, Family and Community engagement

Every RPS bus has an alarm system that was installed after four-year-old Nyheim Butler was left on a bus five years ago.

At the end of a route, the driver has to walk to the back of the bus, checking every seat, to turn the alarm off.

“We are checking to make sure the alarm was functional and that there wasn’t a problem on that bus,” said Kranz.

The driver, who we’re told is experienced, and the attendant are on leave.

Leaders say they’ll get to the bottom of what occurred and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“At the end of the day it’s not acceptable,” said Kranz.  “We’re not gonna tolerate it.”

We’re told normally drivers are supposed to bring their buses to the bus barn at the end of a run. Some are allowed to take them home and leaders are looking to see if this driver had permission.

Stay with 8News for updates.

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