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District Investigating After Child Left On Bus

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Posted: Monday, October 1, 2012 12:01 am

The Hillsboro School Board met for an hour Thursday night in closed session, a special meeting called to discuss a three-year-old who was left unattended on a bus for about four hours Wednesday.

"Thankfully, the child was unharmed and returned safely to her parents," Superintendent David Powell said before the meeting.  "We are very sorry and disappointed that the incident occurred and we are reviewing our bus policies, procedures, and training to ensure that something like this can never happen again."

The bus driver has been relieved of duties while the district investigates the incident.  The law allows government bodies to meet behind closed doors when discussing employee matters such as discipline.  Although the board took no action following the closed session Thursday, the superintendent anticipates action at the next regular meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 9.

The three-year-old is a half-day preschool student who regularly rides a bus at midday to the pre-K program located at the Hillsboro Free Methodist Church.  She reportedly fell asleep during the ride to preschool on Wednesday.

"Nine students got on the bus and only eight got off," the superintendent said.

The bus was then parked at the bus garage at the Hillsboro High School, as normal, and the three-year-old was found when she was discovered missing at the end of the day.

Procedures are meant to prevent such accidents.

"Our policy clearly requires the driver to make a post-trip walk through the bus to look for students," Powell said.

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