Jennifer Ponce's son was mistakenly left on a Laveen Elementary School District bus where he was discovered at the district's bus depot. (Source: CBS 5 News)
The school district told Ponce that the bus driver and bus aide got off the bus, and that her son wasn't discovered until the next driver boarded. (Source: CBS 5 News)
School district spokeswoman Karen Menge said Ponce's son "had fallen asleep on the bus, was awakened and fell back asleep.”
LAVEEN, AZ (CBS5) -
A Laveen mother wants to know how her son was mistakenly left alone on his school bus Monday afternoon.
Jennifer Ponce said her son, who is a special needs student, boarded the school bus as normal. So you can imagine her surprise when she checked her voicemail from the school and heard them report him missing. The next message was that he was located on the very bus she delivered him to.
"Emotions just came," Ponce told CBS 5 News. "I didn't know what to do. I was crying and I wanted to make sure he was OK."
The school told Ponce that the bus had returned to its depot and that the driver and aid got off the bus. It wasn't until the next driver boarded that her son was found.
"He was sleeping and sweaty, I don't even know if the windows were open or how long he was on the bus," she said.
The Laveen Elementary School District had similar answers for CBS 5 News when asked the same questions.
Karen Menge with the district said, "He had fallen asleep on the bus, was awakened and fell back asleep."
When asked if it was proper protocol to sweep the bus before parking it in the lot, Menge's response was: "It's still very early in on the investigation and we are thoroughly researching everything."
The answers are not good enough for Ponce.
"How long was he on that bus?" she asked. "How long did he sit there and wait? Why was he left there?"
Ponce has a meeting with the district on Wednesday morning. She said she not only wants answers to the questions, but she wants to know if there is video documentation as to what happened on her son's bus.
"I want them to be accountable for their actions," she said. "I want them to know that they can't leave a child unattended, yet alone a special needs child."
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