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Mechanic finds 4-year-old left alone on school bus for several hours

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Portsmouth, Va. - Four-year old Emani Scott has now missed three days of school. His mother, Felicia Scott, says he's too afraid to go back. Last Friday, Emani was left alone on his Head Start school bus. NewsChannel 3 now knows he was there for several hours.

"I just feel so sorry for him,” Scott says. “So bad for him. I wish I was there."

Scott says Emani was picked up just before 9 that morning; it wasn't until a mechanic working on the bus found him.

"As soon as my mechanic got on the bus, a little kid poked his head out from behind the seat,” says Airline Automotive & Truck Center General Manager Kirk Peak. “It looked like he had just woken up.

Peak’s auto shop is right across the street from Head Start in Portsmouth, where Emani was supposed to be. Peak says this was a first.

"We’ve never found anyone on a bus,” he says. “We've had many people sleeping in their cars."

Peak says his mechanic found Emani under a seat around 12:15 p.m., which means Emani had been on the bus alone for more than three hours.

"Brought him into our little break room where our TV is and were trying to make sure he was ok,” Peak says.

"Suppose the mechanic wasn't such a nice guy,” Scott says. “I mean thank God he was."

Scott says she was never contacted by Head Start and didn't find out what happened until she picked him up, which was after 2 p.m.

"That is very disturbing to me," she says. "I mean imagine how he was feeling, you know wanting to know where everybody was. His mom, the bus driver, I know he was scared. "

The bus driver has been fired in this case, but Scott says it doesn't erase what happened.

"It has done some harm to him, I feel," she says.


    • jess

      That is one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever read. This is not the parent’s fault. Nor is it the small child who fell asleep fault.

    • Kamesha Touré Sims

      Children often fall asleep on school buses. Some people just naturally fall asleep from the motion. It doesn’t matter why he fell asleep or that he was asleep, the ONLY thing that matters is, the bus driver did not keep track of the children left in his/her charge. It only takes a moment to walk the bus to make sure it’s empty. At the very least, count the number of children boarding the bus to make sure they all get off.

  • Phil

    I do blame the bus driver. I think it may be policy now for drivers to check the buss for kids after their last stop.
    But, on another note, I think by the words used by the father, they are setting up to sue. Saying the boy needed the window down because he doesn’t like to be closed up anymore. Umm, he was never locked on the bus, he could have gotten off at any time.
    I am sure the boy was scared to death-and I do feel bad for him and his family for that. But, the fear would have been from being left alone, not being locked on a bus (that was not locked).

    • Dianne Linscott

      Children being left on the bus is the results of bus drivers not completing their job. There have been too many children being left on the buses these last few years. I am glad that the bus driver was fired.

    • Honestly....

      I also took that comment as being a bit ominous….if this was my child, and she hadn’t been hurt, I would be satisfied with the bus driver being let go, and an apology. Done is done, and the boy is all right-I really doubt he will be traumatized for the rest of his life from this.
      Gotta laugh at the old biddies clucking about the kid not getting enough sleep, though-as a child, I was in bed early every night because I had a 45 minute ride to school. I routinely fell asleep during the ride-the motion of the bus, and pure boredom because I had no one to talk to were the reason, not lack of sleep-I probably got anywhere from 10-12 hours every night when I was this young fellow’s age. It cracks me up that people can ALWAYS find some passive-aggressive way to criticize someone else’s parenting, even when it could hardly be less germane to the subject.

  • Betty. J

    While I think the bus driver should have been more careful, This child was found under the seat asleep. This shows he is not getting enough rest at night. The driver was fired. The thing that should matter is that the child was found alive, well and unharmed. I seriously doubt that he remembers much if he was sleep and he will be ok. They need more mirrors or cameras on the back of buses.

  • Jen

    Why did Head Start not start calling the parents, as soon as they took a head count of the children, and he wasn’t there? Emani is not here, lets just not care. I know that if my kid was not at her daycare, they would call, & if not me the emergency contact required at enrollment. If no one could be reached, the police get involved. The mom didn’t know till she picked him up. Sorry, there is more to this neglegence.

  • Castleexplorer

    I have driven bus for Head Start as well as the public school system. After every route, the bus driver is REQUIRED to walk to the back of the bus and check for sleeping children, coats, etc., This bus driver definitely didn’t complete the check at the end of the route. One of the things that our Head Start did was put a sign at the back of the bus. After you completed your check, you stuck the sign up in the back window so people could see it. That way, you HAD to go to the back of the bus.

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