School Bus Driver Fired For Leaving Special Needs Student Behind

Five hours after a 19-year-old with Down syndrome was scheduled to be dropped off by a school bus driver at a school in Orland Park, Ill., the student was found at the back of his bus, fast asleep.

The bus driver failed to notice that the student had fallen asleep until the route was over, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

For the Alpha School Bus company, the incident was grounds for the driver's immediate dismissal.

"Once the company realized that the student had not been dropped off at her designated school, we immediately returned the child to school and contacted school officials," Regional Manager Caprice Sanfratello said in a statement. "This occurrence is unacceptable and cannot be repeated ... Bus drivers are required by law to walk the bus after completing a route, and before leaving the bus, in order to protect students and prevent this kind of incident."

Press reports on the incident did not give the names of the driver or student involved.

While the trope of the irresponsible bus driver has most famously been represented in pop culture by Otto in the animate TV series, "The Simpsons," there has perhaps been no more lackluster bus driver in recent memory than Anthony Judd.

The 48-year-old resident of New York City had as of this past May quite the track record -- 16 suspensions for 11 separate incidents during his time as a driver for the Delaware-based Silhouette Tours & Travel company.

Such a litany of offenses meant that if Judd were caught again behind wheel, he'd be arrested on the spot. But he was driving again on May 8 when his empty white tour bus was caught ignoring a stop sign in the Queens Midtown Tunnel.

Knowing what being pulled over could lead to, Judd made a run for it, and threatened the life of the police officer on the scene as he led authorities on a high speed chase.

"The sergeant had to jump out of the way" of the bus, an eyewitness told New York's Daily News at the time. "With the way he was driving, he would have been run over and killed."

Judd was finally apprehended near Skillman Avenue in Queens, and the list of charges against him included attempted vehicular assault, fleeing an officer and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

But of all the recent incidents called to mind by the Orland Park oversight, few stack up to the story of Rebecca Wells. The 51-year-old was completing her workweek for the Los Angeles County Department of Internal Services, and had sent out many, many emails. When the workday ended, and her co-workers left for the weekend -- she remained. It wasn't until the next day that she was found dead by a security guard, still at her cubicle, having passed away from natural causes.

Next: Bus Driver, George Daw, Fired For Saving 3 Police Officers -- Gets Job Back



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writing456

I don't understand why the bus driver was in trouble. It says that the bus driver has to check for anyone still on the bus after the route is completed. It also says that the student was found after the route, so didn't he do what he was supposed to? Or did someone of the then the bus driver find her?

December 26 2011 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill

This is a perfect example of POOR REPORTING. For one, no one was left behind, the kid fell asleep in the back of the bus. For two, who cares about Anthony Judd as he has no place in this article. The whole story is one mixed up mess missing 90% of the facts. Looks like Dan Fastenberg just threw a bunch of junk together, hope he didn't get paid for this.

August 23 2011 at 5:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

Probably the best thing that ever happened to this Bus Driver.

Whenever I've been relieved of duty by angry or envious superiors, it has been a real blessing indeed. (Romans 8:28).

August 23 2011 at 12:39 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
Joebudgie

"The 48-year-old resident of Jamaica, Queens, had as of this past May quite the track record -- 16 suspensions for 11 separate incidents during his time as a driver". With this track record it sounds like he should have been fired a long time ago. He shouldn't ever be rehired to transport children.

August 23 2011 at 12:33 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Joebudgie's comment
alycemd

That 48 year old is NOT the same man that left the girl on the bus. I don't know why they included that in the article, either.

August 23 2011 at 1:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alycemd

That 48 year old is NOT the same man that left the girl on the bus. I don't know why they included that in the article, either.

August 23 2011 at 1:51 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Thrift Store

I bet if was a Union driver he would have a received a pat on the back and told " See you tommorrow on the bus"

August 23 2011 at 12:06 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Thrift Store's comment
dieselfumes784

YOU ARE DEFINETELY ,,,,BOZO THE CLOWN,,,,,,,,

August 23 2011 at 12:43 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
jeffinalaska2

I was left on an acid trip, for 2 days, peaKING. No one came to check on me.
The dealer that sold the acid was fired. Pity.

August 22 2011 at 11:47 PM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jeffinalaska2's comment
alycemd

Sounds like you've been on one acid trip too many!

August 23 2011 at 1:52 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
gymbo bogymm

I was left on roller coasterr 3 weeks...yes 3 weeks until a couple brought me down....ok...3 minutes...then I went to my mommy and daddy. and asked to be given to the couple because they loved me...ok, ok because they found it funny...mommy and daddy didn't...ok, ok...maybe because I was 24 and married...ok.......engaged...thank you

August 22 2011 at 11:31 PM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply
mr300in97

Joe Dirt's parents left him at the grand canyon.. wait.. silly me.. that was a movie.. oops

August 22 2011 at 11:13 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
jnicholsmd

19 years old. again 19-year-old with Down syndrome why is a 19 on a school bus? that is not a child. why are my tax dollars being used for a 19 year old? a 19 year old is an adult. I'm not trying to be rude or mean but I temped for the school board in Florida (inventory work) i saw children so disabled they will never talk read or do anything except eat, sleep and poop. they wear diapers. the children has to have a teacher per classroom and a aid per student. but normal student will have their class size increase with no aid for the teachers. how is that fair for students who can learn?

August 22 2011 at 11:10 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to jnicholsmd's comment
star

I was reading these comments about how the driver found the student so he was doing his job, or that its too much work being forced on these drivers, as a special education bus driver and as a charter driver, you do need to check the bus often. One thing people dont realize is that bus drivers go to more then just one school, as it said the student had to be returned to school, and when you drop students off at a school you need to check the bus, as when you are driving them home you need to check the bus after the last stop, especially if the last stop is a distance away from the vicinity that your route is. And lots of younger children that ride the bus, do fall asleep. It is a responsibility that you are agreeing to do when you take on a job as a bus driver, if that driver doesn't want to do that, then they shouldn't have their job.

August 22 2011 at 10:47 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to star's comment
Joebudgie

star..........How do you figure the driver did his job. The first paragraph of the article says "Five hours after a 19-year-old with Down syndrome was scheduled to be dropped off by a school bus driver at a school in Orland Park, Ill., the student was found at the back of his bus, fast asleep." Are you aleeep, too?

August 23 2011 at 12:37 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joebudgie's comment
star

I'm not asleep, but you did miss the first part of what I wrote that said "I was reading the comments..." What I wrote was in response to all the people that had commented on this article saying that a bus driver has too much responsibility or was doing their job...I absolutely do NOT think the driver in the article did his job.

August 23 2011 at 5:10 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down

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