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Mother: Special needs child left on hot school bus

PHOENIX — A Phoenix mother is pushing the Laveen Elementary School District to giver her answers after she claimed her special needs child was left alone on a school bus.

According to Jessica Ponce, her sister dropped the child, Floyd, off at the bus at 11:30 a.m. Monday morning. It wasn’t until 1 p.m. that she realized something was terribly wrong.

“I got a message from the school that Floyd was absent,” said Ponce.

About 30 minutes later, another representative from the school left a message, “I heard you received a message earlier today, that your child was missing, but he was delivered to school late. He was left on the bus.”

“There were two people on that bus: the bus driver and the aide,” said Ponce. “How could they miss my son?”

While the temperatures on that day reached the 90s, it is unclear how long the child was inside the bus until he was rescued. Ponce claims her son’s whereabouts are unaccounted for at least an hour and a half.

Ponce said the district has not been forthcoming with information.

“I want answers, I want people held accountable,” she said.

The district provided the following statement on Tuesday. It has not been altered in any way.

“Student safety is always our number one concern. Unfortunately, an incident did happen yesterday afternoon when a preschooler fell asleep on the bus on the way to school. A bus associate woke him when they arrived at school and thought that he had exited the bus. The bus returned to the bus yard about two miles from the school. A transportation employee entered the bus approximately eleven minutes after it was parked, discovered the student, and reported it to his supervisor. The student was then returned to the school, checked by our district nurse as his parent was notified. The incident was reported to DPS. We are conducting a thorough investigation, as well.”

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