A 5-year-old with special needs was left on a school bus in Lowell, Massachusetts for hours on a hot Monday.
School officials say it's all because the driver didn't follow the rules.
"We know the driver didn’t follow protocol because we have on tape that he did not check back of bus," said Mayor Ed Kennedy.
It was Monday morning when the bus picked up the child and was supposed to drop the kindergartner at McAvinnue Elementary School. The child didn't get off the bus and the driver headed to the garage.
Police say the driver only discovered the child in the bus around 1 p.m. when the driver was headed back out for the afternoon route.
The driver brought the child to the school where a nurse checked him out, and he was okay.
"We have protocols set up so that incidents like this don’t take place. We have zero tolerance for this type thing. As a result of that, the bus driver has been let go."
Mayor Kennedy, who's also the school committee chair, says once the school saw the student had not arrived, it immediately contacted the parents, but none of this would have happened if the driver had done his job.
"It's frustrating when stuff like this happens when the protocols are in place and everybody knows, and you assume that the bus drivers have the training or the knowledge that they know they are supposed to check the back of the bus which takes 10 seconds. So when that’s not done, it's just hard to understand why it wasn't done."
As parents dropped off their children at McAvinnue Elementary School on Thursday morning, there was still disbelief about what happened.
"I'm still baffeled about it," said parent Jonathan Vezina. "I can't believe someone would allow that to happen.
S.P&R Transportation did not have anyone available for comment Thursday.
Parent Deb Enwright told us she also had problems with the company, when she said a substitute driver dropped her 4-year-old off at home, even though she claims they had been instructed not to.
“I am a full time student,” said Enwright. “I am not home. Just so happens somebody was.”
Lowell Police and the Department of Children and Families are investigating.
The name of the former bus driver has not been released.