Two fired after child left on bus

A Butts County School bus driver, and a bus monitor, have been fired after reportedly leaving a 4-year-old on a bus for more than five hours last week, while it was parked at the driver's home.

Butts County Schools Superintendent Lynda White said a student at the Rainbow Center for Pre-School Learning did not exit the school bus the morning of May 17, and reportedly stayed on the bus -- parked at the driver's home -- until being discovered by the driver when the driver got back on board to make the afternoon trip around 1:30 p.m.

The child was not apparently injured, according to White, and the child's mother, Wy'Keisha Dean.

"A terrible error was made," White said. "We avoided a tragedy."

White said both the bus driver and the bus monitor, whom she did not identify, were fired that evening. "They were very upset that this happened as well, and did not try to excuse it in any way," White said. "They were very apologetic."

White said the employees failed to follow the system's safety protocol for checking in, around and under seats of buses.

She said those protocols will be emphasized during training sessions drivers will take before the next school year begins.

-- Michael Davis