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2 school employees on administrative leave after child left on school bus

A school bus driver and a bus monitor in Brunswick County are on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into how a first grade student was left on a school bus Wednesday morning. (Source: Raycom Media) A school bus driver and a bus monitor in Brunswick County are on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into how a first grade student was left on a school bus Wednesday morning. (Source: Raycom Media)
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A school bus driver and a bus monitor in Brunswick County are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into how a first-grade student was left on a school bus Wednesday morning.

According to the school system, bus driver Evelyn Miller's daily routine includes an early run for Cedar Grove Middle School, followed by a second run for Virginia Williamson Elementary.

While preparing for a mid-day run, Miller found a first-grade student sleeping on the bus. She called Virginia Williamson Elementary Principal Shirley Williamson and then took the student to school to be assessed by the school nurse.

When asked how long the child remained on the bus, Brunswick County Schools spokesperson Jessica Swencki said, "While we are not quite certain of the exact time. What we have been able to pinpoint is that the bus returned to Cedar Grove around 9:15, and then the driver returned to the bus around 10:30, so a little under 2 hours.”

Swencki said administrators contacted the child's parent, and transportation officials have begun an investigation.

"There is absolutely no excuse for why an incident like this should ever occur in Brunswick County Schools or in any school system in North Carolina," Swencki explained. "It is a clear training protocol that any driver and monitor, before exiting the bus after their route, should check every seat on the bus. This is done not only to check the bus for damage but to also check the bus for children who might have fallen asleep, particularly young children do sometimes fall asleep on bus ride. I think it is very apparent in this situation that the protocol simply was not followed."

The school system plans to use this incident as a reminder to all drivers and monitors of the importance and requirement to follow procedures 100 percent of the time.

Miller and bus monitor Roswitha Delts have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Swencki said the situation has been referred to the North Carolina Department of Social Services and it will be up to the agency to determine what steps, if any, need to be taken.

"To my knowledge, this has not occurred before [in Brunswick County Schools] and hopefully it will not occur again," said Swencki.

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