Frederick County Public Schools is apologizing after a sleeping 5-year-old girl was left alone on a school bus and her parents were not notified about the incident.
The school system said it can't account for human error. The bus driver failed to conduct a mandatory sweep after dropping students off at Glade Elementary School in Walkersville, Md., Tuesday afternoon.
"This is a very unfortunate oversight on her part and a number of lack of communication instances, a series of them, that resulted in this situation,” schools spokesperson Marita Loose said.
Early Tuesday afternoon, the driver, who had taken the bus home after the drop off, found the girl still on board. The driver then took the girl to school, where she was about 45 minutes late for her 1 p.m. pre-kindergarten class.
"The driver had not left the bus and noticed the child still there,” Loose said.
The driver reportedly walked the child into the school secretary's office, thinking the school would notify the child's parent about what had happened. The school thought the transportation department would notify the parent. Neither happened.
The child told her mother, and the principal was not notified about the incident until the following day, according to the school district. The principal spoke to her staff, telling them that she needs to be notified about such incidents.
The driver faces disciplinary action.
"This is a tenured driver, an experienced driver who has not a blot on her driving record with Frederick County Public Schools,” Loose said.