Bus Aide Pleads Not Guilty to Leaving Autistic Child on Bus

Boy was left strapped in his car seat in the bus for hours, authorities say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A school bus aide has been arrested and charged with second-degree cruelty to children for leaving a child on a school bus in November. News4's Derrick Ward has the story. (Published Saturday, Jun 22, 2013)

    A bus aide who was assigned to help a three-year-old boy with autism has been charged with cruelty to a child after she allegedly left the boy on a school bus.

    Quiana Greene, 35, was charged with second-degree cruelty to a child after being arrested this week in connection with the incident, which happened Nov. 27.

    She entered a plea of not guilty in court Saturday.

    The boy was picked up at his home and strapped into his seat at 7:30 a.m. for the trip to Walker Jones Elementary School in the Northwest, News4's Derrick Ward reported.

    But, authorities allege, the child was allegedly overlooked at school -- and then overlooked again once the bus was at the the bus yard in southwest D.C.

    Greene told investigators that once the bus arrived at Walker Jones, a school staff member boarded the bus and called out the names of the students who needed to get off.

    But, according to statements, Greene told investigators the staff member never called out the three-year-old's name. She assumed the bus was empty.

    According to court documents, the boy was not discovered until 2 p.m., when Greene got back on the bus and heard someone say "hey!"

    It was then that the three-year-old was found, still in his coat and still strapped into his car seat on the bus.

    The child was taken to Children's National Medical Center to be checked out, and authorities said he didn't have any physical problems from the ordeal.

    Greene has been ordered by the court to stay away from the child's family, She's due back in superior court on July 2.

    The bus driver and Greene were fired in November, following an initial investigation by school officials.

    The incident led to an angry comment from Mayor Vincent Gray in November: "After you picked him up you didn't take him into school? I mean, it's absolutely astounding.”

    "There's absolutely no acceptable reason for this to happen."

    “And that incident was due to a gross and negligent violation of protocol,” D.C. State School Superintendent Hosanna Mahaley said at the time. “The driver and attendant are to check the bus and ensure that there are no students on it when they leave the school.”

    The employees admitted disabling a buzzer alert in the back of the bus, Mahaley said in November. That alert normally forces a driver or attendant to walk to the back of the bus to turn it off while checking for children.

    The attendant sat up front with the driver instead of in the back seat where she belonged, which also is against the rules.