School bus driver suspended after leaving first-grader on bus for eight hours

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – A bus driver in the University City School District is off the job after leaving a first-grade student alone on the bus for several hours Tuesday in the rain and cold.

The six-year-old student attends Flynn Park Elementary School. Every day, his mother, Elisha Foster, accompanies him to the bus stop on North Drive every morning. And she’s there at 4 p.m. when he gets off the bus.

But Tuesday afternoon, she said her boy was not on the bus. Foster said he was reported absent and, fearing the worst, immediately called the police to report him missing.

The school district confirmed the boy was inadvertently left alone on the unheated school bus for eight hours Tuesday.

The six-year-old apparently boarded the school bus, fell asleep, and remained on the bus after others exited. The bus driver missed seeing the boy after dropping all the other students off at school that morning.

The school bus company said the driver has been suspended pending a full investigation. The district is reviewing its internal safety and security procedures.

And while the school district apologized for the concern and worry brought to the family, Foster said what happened is totally unacceptable.