Bus driver on leave after leaving Worcester teen living with Autism on school bus all day

WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - The mother of a Worcester teenager living with Autism says he was left on his bus for the entire school day. Now, that bus driver is off the job.

Jennifer Reyes said she is in disbelief after her 13-year-old son Jamie who does not carry a cellphone was left alone on a school bus for six hours Thursday.

“Yeah my child was brought home but he never made it to school he was actually put in danger to me if he didn’t have the sense to stay on the bus,” Reyes said. “He is like I fell asleep in the bus, in this bus, and I was on the bus all day. I never made it to school.”

Reyes said she called the school – Central Massachusetts Collaborative – who confirmed he was marked absent.

“The first thing going through my mind is oh my gosh six hours you know no food no water no bathroom,” she said.

Now, she says she wants to know how something like this could have happened.

“There are two adults, which is the driver and the bus monitor, so in my mind, I’m trying to wrap around how would you miss this,” Reyes said.

While the school is not within the Worcester Public School system, the bus is operated by the district.

7NEWS spoke with the superintendent, who confirmed the driver was put on leave. She says video surveillance revealed a policy to check the bus thoroughly was not followed.

“In my mind, it seems like it’s a good policy it should be fail-proof but it failed,” said Reyes.

The district has filed a report with the Department of Children and Families.

“When you are working or you have a job or have been contracted to have a responsibility for someone else’s child you have to take extreme care extreme caution and make sure that the same way you picked up that child, that child is brought home,” Reyes said.

Unlike Worcester Public Schools, Central Massachusetts Collaborative does not currently have a policy to call parents when a child is absent, the school said that policy is now being reviewed.

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