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Special-needs student is latest to have school bus prob

October 29, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

A Fountaindale Elementary School fifth-grader was allowed to ride a bus home from school Monday when he was not supposed to, causing him to be dropped off at home with no parental supervision.

The boy's mother, Trish Ieraci, said her son, who has special needs, waited outside of their home for 45 minutes until she returned home from work. Ieraci said she sent a note to school with her son asking that he not go home right after school, but that he remain at an aftercare program then take a bus home.

"So, I'm thinking he'll be getting off at 5:15 p.m.," Ieraci said. "He got off at 2:40 p.m. I wasn't home."

Washington County Public Schools spokesman Richard Wright said Fountaindale Elementary staff was "supposed to keep him after school." The student was put on his regularly designated bus, Wright said.

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"We're obviously conducting a review with the school to find out where the process broke down," he said. "More will come out of that obviously."

Wright said that Monday's incident would not have been prevented under a previous transportation policy that was changed earlier this year by the Washington County Board of Education. The board changed the policy to try to make students safer.

Ieraci said when she arrived home Monday to find her son waiting outside, she drove with him to the school to find out how the mistake occurred. She said Monday's incident was not the first time her son has experienced a school busing issue.

Ieraci said she was told Monday, like she was the first time, that steps would be taken to make sure this did not happen again.

"(My son) sat on the corner waiting for me to come home," Ieraci said. "It was cold. He was happy to see me, but he was concerned at the same time because he knows that when he gets off the school bus, Mom is there."

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