Autistic student left on school bus for hours

By: By Katelin Gandee - Staff reporter

LAUREL HILL — Scotland school district officials have confirmed that a six-year-old autistic student was left on a school bus for several hours.

The incident occurred at Laurel Hill Elementary School on Monday and involved the child falling asleep during a morning bus route. School officials said the sleeping student remained on the bus, parked at the school, for three and half hours.

When the student woke up, she left the bus and wandered around until a school official saw her.

Scotland County Schools released a statement calling the incident “unacceptable.” The statement said that drivers and monitors are trained to check each seat on the bus at the end of each route.

“Although we have a longstanding history of this type of incident not occurring, we are reviewing the processes with all of our drivers and monitors” the statement said.

The school system said it was putting additional accountability measures in place to make sure that a similar situation does not occur in the future.

“Most importantly, we are glad that the student is OK and we want to reassure our parents and community that student safety is and will continue to be of paramount importance to us,” the statement said.

Officials would not comment if the driver or monitor was terminated.

By Katelin Gandee

Staff reporter

Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171

Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171