May 13, 2014 1:01 PM by Dave Fields

Substitute bus driver leaves 10-year-old on school bus

Lafayette Parish Schools System confirms that a ten-year-old student was left on the bus Monday afternoon by a substitute bus driver.

An LPSS spokesperson tells KATC that the substitute, who actually is an LPSS transportation department employee, will not be allowed to substitute for 20 days as a consequence of the oversight.

According to an email release from LPSS, the substitute said "a sweep was conducted after the last drop off, but the student was still missed."

According to relatives of the student, a girl who attends Edgar Martin Middle School, the child had fallen asleep on bus 391 and had awakened in the parking lot of a grocery store, where the child exited the bus. The girl's mother, said the family, drove around for 30 minutes after her child was supposed to have arrived at home. Relatives say that someone at the store recognized the girl as a student attending that school and called her mother.  She tells us she found her daughter at the store, waited for the bus driver to come out, and then told her what happened. 

The LPSS spokesperson explained that the previous transportation director in 2013 made the Lafayette Parish School Board aware that transportation department employees are required to have a CDL because of a substitute driver shortage. According to the former director, the pool of available driver substitutes is so limited that sometimes department employees are pressed into bus driving duty in addtion to their clerical duties within the office.

Current Transportation Director Damon Evans plans to make an official request to the board to expand the substitute driver pool, the LPSS email said.



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