Valdosta Daily Times

December 17, 2013

Lanier 5-year-old left on school bus for six hours

Kristin Finney
The Valdosta Daily Times

LAKELAND — Lanier County Schools faces scrutiny following an incident last week involving a 5-year-old girl being left on a school bus for six hours.

In the early morning hours of Dec. 12, the young girl, identified as the daughter of Ashley Norton, was put on her bus as normal to begin her school day. The young girl was later found, still on the bus, crying some time after lunch.

Lanier County Superintendent Keith Humphrey said the student had fallen asleep and was inadvertently left on the bus.

Norton said she received a phone call at 2 p.m. from the school saying that they had found her daughter on the bus in the middle school parking lot.

“The parent was contacted and informed of the incident and came to pick her child up. School authorities acted promptly in having the school nurse evaluate the student, contact parents, and other authorities. The student was unharmed and is back in school today,” said Humphrey in a statement following the incident.  

The school system has placed the bus driver on administrative leave pending the outcome of the system’s investigation. Officials with the school had not decided as of Monday whether any further action would be taken against the driver.