Wheelchair-bound 7-year-old left on school bus for several hours

MIDWEST CITY, Oklahoma (KFOR) -- Midwest City Police are investigating after a child with special needs was left unattended on a school bus for several hours.

Midwest City PD was called to OU Children's Hospital Tuesday afternoon after the social worker reported the child was being medically examined by their doctors after she had been left unattended on a Mid-Del School bus for several hours by her bus driver and bus monitor.

The child’s mother told officers the seven-year-old, who suffers from cerebral palsy and is wheelchair bound, was picked up at her daycare just before 8 a.m.  Normally, the bus driver and bus monitor would take the children that ride on the bus to multiple school locations and drop them off; unfortunately, the seven-year-old was overlooked on Tuesday.

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Wheelchair-bound 7-year-old left on school bus for hours
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Wheelchair-bound 7-year-old left on school bus for hours
Wheelchair-bound 7-year-old left on school bus for several hours (Photo: KFOR)
Wheelchair-bound 7-year-old left on school bus for several hours (Photo: KFOR)
Wheelchair-bound 7-year-old left on school bus for several hours (Photo: KFOR)
Wheelchair-bound 7-year-old left on school bus for several hours (Photo: KFOR)
Wheelchair-bound 7-year-old left on school bus for several hours (Photo: KFOR)
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The driver took the bus back to Mid-Del Schools' transportation lot where it was parked for several hours.  The bus driver and bus monitor returned to the bus and realized they had left the special needs child unattended.

They decided to take the child back to the daycare when they realized their oversight.  The day care workers were concerned because the child was returned two hours earlier than normal and she was soiled, tired and appeared to be dehydrated.

Daycare workers contacted the child's mother, who then contacted the school and found that the child did not attend school Tuesday.

The mother then took the child to OU Children's to be examined. There has been no word on the child's condition on Wednesday.

“This situation is horribly unfortunate,” Chief Brandon Clabes said.  “The Mid-Del School Administrators have been extremely cooperative in our investigation and provided video from the school bus to help us in this case,” Clabes added.

“We are gathering information from everyone involved and will be interviewing the bus driver and monitor to determine an exact timeline of the events that took place.  One thing is clear, the child who is non-verbal and confined to a wheelchair, was unattended on the bus for several hours while it was parked in the transportation lot,” Clabes said.

Authorities tell us all information will be presented to the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office for review and disposition, and it is being classified as a child neglect case.

Mid-Del Schools sent out the following statement:

"On Tuesday, a Mid-Del student was left unattended on a school bus. The bus driver and bus monitor have been suspended during the investigation of this incident. When our procedures are followed, bus drivers are to walk the length of the bus at the end of his/her route to ensure there are no bus riders remaining. In this instance, that did not happen. We are in continued communication with the student’s family, cooperating with law enforcement, and conducting our own investigation in the matter. "

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