Olympia School District to install alarms on all buses after preschooler left on school bus

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The Olympia School District is installing alarms on all of their school buses after a preschooler was forgotten on a bus and left there for more than an hour last month.

According to a news release from the district, the incident happened on Nov. 15, when a child did not get off the bus at the school he was supposed to -- and the driver and bus monitor didn't notice.

The bus was taken to the district's transportation center, where the driver left the bus without conducting a final walk-through inside the bus.

"Falling short of this standard procedure is unacceptable," the district said in a prepared statement.

The child sat on the empty bus for a little more than an hour before he was found by a Washington State Patrol commercial vehicle inspector.

Surveillance video released by the district shows the moment the inspector found the preschooler on the bus. The student was taken back to school and reunited with a parent, officials said.

The bus driver and the bus monitor were placed on administrative leave, and the driver resigned on Nov. 28 before the district took action to terminate. The bus monitor returned to work after more training.

Following the incident, the district promptly retrained 76 bus drivers, 17 bus monitors and four mechanics.

Currently, 10 percent of the district's buses have electronic alarms that sound if the driver does not complete the required bus check after dropping off kids. By the end of the school year, all buses will have alarms.

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