Did You Know
Did You Know
A missing preschool student was found safe at Bonneville High School shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday.
According to Bonneville School District Superintendent Dr. Charles J. Shackett the 4-year-old boy was riding a bus to an Ammon Elementary School pre-school Tuesday morning.
The boy apparently fell asleep on the bus and missed the stop. He woke up alone on the bus in the District 93 bus barn North Ammon Road near Bonneville High School.
Shackett said thankfully the boy was alright.
"We had a little boy lost for several hours a 4-year-old in our pre-school program. We made a few errors, the child fell asleep on the bus," Shackett said.
Protocol dictates that the driver doing a walk through the bus when they finish with their route. Shachett said the driver failed to do the check.
"When the bus finished its route the driver didn't walk through the bus to make sure no one was in it. Believe it or not, that happens a lot, children fall asleep on the bus and they are lying down and so you think the bus is empty," Shackett said.
A surveillance camera in the bus captured video of the children exiting the bus however, Shackett explains that the camera shuts off five minutes after the bus is turned off.The footage is still being reviewed.
Sometime before 2:30 p.m., the child awoke in the empty bus and pulled the lever on the emergency door at the back, it was reported by a bus employee.
The boy made his way towards Bonneville High School and walked about a quarter of a mile before he was spotted by students. Shackett said the students asked the boy if he was ok? And the boy replied he was fine. The boy then found his way to a special pre-school hosted by Bonneville School Early Childhood education program where he spent the day under the care of a teacher and students there.
Shackett said,"Circumstances were that the teacher was expecting a new 4-year-old that day. And when he walked in the teacher just felt that he must be the child," Shackett said.
The boy was reported missing by his parents at around 2:30 p.m. when he was due home on the bus. School district personnel and the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office searched door-to-door in adjoining neighborhoods Tuesday afternoon until the child was located at the high school.
"Two errors were made, one when the child didn't show up to the classroom in Ammon. A phone call should have been made to say your child didn't arrive. And that would have set off the alarms," Shackett said.
The Transportation Supervisor of District 93 Karen Judy explained the search process, "At one point, as many as 50 transportation workers were looking for the boy."
"We went through every bus every compartment, every parked vehicle in this parking lot. Any place we thought a child would be," Judy said. "The bus driver is a 10-year veteran, she walked the bus before those kids got off but she didn't walk it after."
According to Judy, this isn't the first time something like this has happened.
"When I first started here we had an incident, it's been 20 years ago, or so. We worry about it all the time happening and it's tragic and very unfortunate when it does happen," Judy said.
The child was reunited with his family later on and Judy said they are going to go through their check system.
"And these kids are our kids, when we get them home we rest in peace, but when they're not home we are concerned about them. They are our kids too," Judy said.
Shackett said the school district has launched an investigation to determine exactly how the incident happened and what policy changes might be necessary to ensure it doesn't happen again.