In Florida and other states, school bus drivers and school bus aides have a duty to supervise children prior to, during, and after transportation runs. Because of the risks and dangers of leaving a child unattended on a school bus or day care center bus / van, it is vital that bus drivers and aides carefully maintain check lists and follow procedures for the loading and unloading of children when transporting children to and from school day care and when transporting children on field trips.
The failure to unload children off of a school bus or day care center van puts the child in danger. Furthermore, whether there are injuries or not, the failure to unload a child from a school bus or day care center van can result in employment probation / suspension and even arrest / criminal prosecution. In Tampa (Hillsborough County), it was reported in December 2011 that a school bus driver and aide were terminated from employment when a 3 year old child was left on a school bus. The school bus aide was arrested on child neglect charges regarding the incident. It was reported that the child did not suffer physical personal injuries as a result of the incident. The child was left on the bus strapped into her seatbelt for over 5 years. See Florida School Aide Arrested After Being Left on School Bus. Since the incident happened in December 2011 and the weather was mild, no injuries resulted. If the incident had taken place during the summer months, the result may have been quite different in that the child may have been at risk for hyperthermia.
A simple checklist can avoid the oversight and neglect involved with leaving a small child unattended on a school bus or day care center van. Attendance / roll call should be consistently taken to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of children being transported by day care centers and schools. The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Damages / Compensation, and other topics. You can receive a free copy of this book at The ABCs of Child Injury.