CHICAGO (CBS) – A Pennsylvania boy missed his first day of kindergarten, on Tuesday after being left on the school bus.
5-year-old Prince Oquendo was excited to start his first day of kindergarten, but never made it off the bus, CBS Philly’s Trang Do reports.
The boy spent four and a half hours alone on the school bus in 85-degree heat, after the bus driver neglected to drop him off at Monocacy Elementary Center, in Birdsboro, Pa.
“I cried myself to sleep…two times,” Prince Oquendo said.
No one knew he was still on the bus until his mother, Michelle Oquendo called the school after Prince was not dropped off at home later that day.
The New Rhoads Transportation staff then checked the bus, which was sitting in the company lot.
“It was traumatizing to me,” Michelle Oquendo said. “He was hot, sweaty. He didn’t even know who I was at first.”
Daniel Boone Area School District Superintendent, James Harris said the transportation company, which is contracted by the school district, immediately terminated the bus driver.
“Generally, the drivers check for backpacks, water bottles, books, things like that,” Harris said. “The driver did not do that.”
The district also dropped the ball, by not calling Oquendo’s mother when her son was marked absent for the day.
“It just goes to show how important our procedures are and transportations’ every day in the safety of our kids.” Harris said. “We don’t need to be doing anything new. We just need to do what we are supposed to be doing.”
Prince will not be riding the bus anytime soon.
“I’m going to be driving him back and forth to school,” Oquendo said. “I don’t want him on any buses at all.”
The school district held an informational session, on Wednesday at Monocacy Elementary School for parents, to ease any fears they may have.