Mother says bus driver intentionally stranded student at bus stop

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCBD) — A student stranded at the bus stop, and a mother claiming the bus driver left the child intentionally. It started with a 6th grader trying to bring a soda can on the bus.

The child’s mother, Caresta Jones, says, “It was get off and finish your soda, or dump it out.”

Jones says he daughter stepped off the bus to finish the drink, but then the bus driver took off.

She says, “That immediately made my mind jump to all the what ifs. What if someone kidnapped her? What if she didn’t have a phone to call me and let me know?”

Jones says her daughter walked to the front of the neighborhood where the bus driver would have to pass by before continuing her route. She says the bus driver spotted the child, and chose to keep going.

Jones says, “The only job she had to do was to take my daughter to school and she failed at that.”

Jones says she doesn’t think the Berkeley County School District is taking this seriously, because she has called multiple times to follow up and never got a response. The district says it can’t legally discuss the issue.

Berkeley County Schools Director of Transportation, Wes Fleming, says, “Reaching back with a parent to discuss any action that may have taken place, any discipline that may have taken place, is against policy when it becomes a personnel matter and we can’t discuss it.”

News 2 asked, “What can be done to assure parents something like this won’t happen again? They bring it to your attention and never hear back, I feel like parents think it falls on deaf ears.”

Fleming says, “I understand that. I do understand that, I just would like to reassure them that if it’s brought to our attention and it requires disciplinary action then it will be taken.”

Jones says this week that driver has not been on her daughter’s route, but she hears she still works for the county.

She says, “My daughter informed to me that the driver is actually driving another route. What makes it safe for her to drive another route when she did this to my daughter? I mean, this can happen to anybody’s child.”

Berkeley County was not allowed to confirm if the bus driver still works for the district.

Another bus was sent to pick the child up from the neighborhood, getting her to school about 45 minutes late. Berkeley County says regardless of bus driver issues, they will do what it takes to make sure students get to school.

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