BEVERLY, MASS. (WHDH) - The mother of a third-grade special needs student is speaking out after she says her child fell asleep on the bus in Beverly and ended up being there an hour later when his older sister got on board to go to high school.

Rachel Martin said she first realized something was wrong when her daughter sent her a picture of her son on the bus with her when he should have already been dropped off at Centerville Elementary School. She said the text message she received was “terrifying.”

Martin said her daughter was “in tears” after finding the 9-year-old on the bus. There was no bus monitor on board at the time, she said.

In a statement, the school said, “We are aware of an incident in which a student from Centerville Elementary School fell asleep and did not get off the bus when it arrived for morning drop-off on Tuesday. 

The student was located during a subsequent bus run and was then dropped off approximately 20 minutes later. Our chief concern after an incident like this is the well-being of the student, and district staff have taken steps to ensure the student was not adversely affected by this incident. At no time was the student alone on the bus.

We treat matters like this with the utmost seriousness, and have taken action to re-train our transportation staff and reinforce the importance of the procedures we have in place to prevent these circumstances.

The staff member involved has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the completion of a thorough internal review of this incident. Upon the conclusion of that review, the district will take appropriate action based on our findings and in accordance with our policy on progressive discipline.”

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