CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – A 4-year-old Pre-K student at Union East Elementary school was accidentally left alone on a school bus after it returned to the garage, both the bus company and the school district said Wednesday.
Her mother, Amy Lynn McGaughey contacted News 4.
“I’m like, ‘Wow, really?’ My daughter is 4-years-old; this is her first day at school!” McGaughey said Wednesday. “Whatever happened, no child should be left on the bus.”
“The child was left on the bus and discovered, I think, anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour later by other bus drivers,” Cheektowaga Central Schools Superintendent Dennis Kane confirmed.
A representative from the bus company, Carrier Coach, said that phone calls were made immediately to both McGaughey and the Cheektowaga Central School District.
A Carrier Coach van took Mashayla Gray back to school. Her mother said she arrived there around noon.
The Carrier Coach representative explained that all employees are trained to follow a bus check protocol. They are supposed to walk the length of the bus, checking each seat for students, before turning around a sign in the vehicle’s back window that indicates the bus has been checked for sleeping children.
She also said that the driver and monitor who were assigned to the bus Mashayla Gray was riding have been suspended without pay, pending an investigation.
Kane said the district will likely request that the two employees in question no longer be allowed to work on buses that serve the Cheektowaga Central Schools.
“People are trained, and the expectation is there that they follow through on what they’re trained to do,” said the superintendent, adding that the district is just as upset by what happened as McGaughey.
McGaughey said she is satisfied with the way the school and Carrier Coach handled the situation, but said her daughter was scared and crying when she was left alone.
“I did ask the school if I could review the tape from Carrier Coach, so they are getting the tape together for me to come into school and review,” she said, referring to the video recording from her daughter’s bus. “I want to know exactly how long she was on the bus by herself.”
She was glad that other employees were paying attention, and found her daughter when they did.
“If it wasn’t for, actually, somebody seeing her on the bus, then when would somebody have found her? Not until the afternoon runs?” McGaughey wondered.