PRATT, Kan. (KSNW) — A Kansas mother is in shock after her son was left alone on a Pratt school bus for over an hour on Tuesday morning before school during a winter weather advisory.
The Pratt school district has confirmed that a 3-year-old boy was left unattended on a bus for at least 90 minutes on Tuesday. The superintendent says that while the district is confident in its bus safety protocols, this was a personnel issue and a failure on the district’s part.
Brittany Slief is the mother of the 3-year-old Hunter, who has asthma and is hypoglycemic. After the incident, she received a call from the Pratt school district’s lead mechanic, who found Hunter strapped into his bus seat.
“He [the mechanic] told me what he thought was a cat screeching that turned out to be my son,” said Brittany. “They wrapped him in blankets got him inside.”
Brittany says that while Hunter is okay, she is also frustrated that the district didn’t immediately inform her that Hunter didn’t make it to class.
“If they would have told me, maybe he wouldn’t have been on the bus for as long,” said Brittany.
USD 382 Superintendent Tony Helfrich says that the district is reviewing the incident and taking the necessary steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
“We’re hurt knowing we failed,” said Helfrich.
According to Helfrich, when it comes to the preschool bus, there is a second person on the bus that is a para-support to help the children on that route.
“We have 100% expectations, and we just have to address that accordingly,” said Helfrich.
The district could not confirm if the driver involved was terminated. However, the superintendent did confirm another driver has since taken over the preschool route.
“This could have happened to any child, and if this were to ever happen again, that child might not be as lucky as mine,” said Brittany.