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Exclusive: 5-year-old girl left on school bus for 5 hours

Parents say their five year old daughter was left on a school bus for five hours without their knowledge.
Posted at 6:24 PM, Jun 28, 2024

VERMILION PARISH, La. (KATC) - Donyel and Raynard Rolle say the last 24 hours have been a nightmare.

Their five-year-old daughter was left on a school bus for five hours without their knowledge.

“She didn’t get breakfast, she didn’t get lunch, she was on that bus in this hot heat for five hours,” Donyel said.

Donyel dropped her daughter off at Cecil Picard Elementary School for summer school around 7:30 in the morning. Her daughter hopped on the bus to go to LeBlanc Elementary School, went to sleep and never made it off. Summer school starts around 7:30 am and ends at 12:30 pm.

“That’s crazy, no child should have to go through that,” Raynard Rolle, her father said.

They tell KATC they only found out their daughter was left on the bus when they asked her about her day.

“She said, ‘I did have a bad day’ and she told me ‘I got stuck on a bus.’ In my mind, I was thinking she got stuck on the bus for a small amount of time, someone probably noticed, and someone got her but I was still furious because we were not notified of any of it. With further questioning with her, we learned that she was on the bus the whole five hours,” Donyel said.

“At first, I was like, this can’t be real. My wife kept asking her questions over and over to make sure it wasn’t a joke and she was telling us detail to detail,” Raynard said.

Following this discovery, they immediately called school officials. “We’ve only had one conversation with the school. Basically, a man, I think he’s the assistant superintendent and safety guy said they were watching the video of the bus and confirmed that our daughter was 100% correct, she did get left on the bus for five hours and that’s really the only conversation we’ve had with them,” Doynel said.

Donyel and Raynard said they weren’t allowed to watch the video.

KATC inquired what response the parents wanted and they said new measures need to be put in place. “I think justice would be to prevent this from happening again. There needs to be a mandatory type of rule that when you’re transporting any type of children, small or big, once they vacate the bus, they need to look,” she said.

KATC reached out to Superintendent Byler, who said in a statement:

We were made aware of the incident and the procedures and protocols regarding disciplinary action of school personnel were immediately put into place.

The incident is under investigation.