Special Needs Boy Left On Bus Hitchhikes Home (Video)


Two Florida school district employees were arrested and accused of abandoning a special needs student on a school bus on two separate occasions in a one-week period (video below).

"I want to introduce you to two people who will not be the school bus driver and attendant of the year for the Polk County School system," Sheriff Grady Judd said at a press conference.

Bus driver Gale Brown and attendant Gwendolyn Simmons both posted bail after being charged with leaving the unidentified 13-year-old boy on the bus.

"He wakes up and the students are gone, the driver is gone, the bus attendant is gone," Judd told reporters. "He gets his backpack, opens the emergency window, climbs out the window, and falls to the ground."

The boy then walked and hitchhiked 30 miles to his home in Davenport. He didn't tell his mother about the incident. The next day, the boy told Simmons about being left on the bus, WTSP reported.

"He tells the attendant, ‘Hey y'all left me on the bus yesterday!’ The attendant didn't believe him," Judd said. Later in the week, the same thing happened.

According to Judd, the bus was equipped with a system that sounds an alarm when the engine is turned off -- which forces the driver to walk to the back of the bus and hit a button. Walking to the back of the bus would essentially make the driver check for students. Brown and Simmons reportedly had students disable the alarm system before the incidents.

"What wasn't functioning? The brains of the driver and the attendant. It’s like are you kidding me?" Judd said.

"When we found out, I was just thankful that the student was safe," Steven Whitaker, the school's executive director, told Inside Edition. Whitaker told WTSP they asked Brown and Simmons about the incident but that they told him there was "no one else on the bus."

"We’ve gone through a lot of training of the bus aides and people to try to explain our situation, unfortunately something like this happens," Whitaker said.

Watch surveillance video of the incident below.

Sources: WTSP, Inside Edition / Photo credit: Screenshot via YouTube, WTSP

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