Driver Leaves Boy, 5, on School Bus for Nearly 7 Hours in Sub-Freezing Temperatures

Playing 5-Year-Old Boy Recovering After Being Left Alone on School Bus

Little Ibn Polk had a very bad day earlier this week.

The 5-year-old kindergartner never made it to class Tuesday. Instead, he was left sleeping on a Delaware school bus for nearly seven hours, his family and authorities said. Temperatures were in the 20s that day.

"When I picked him up, he was soaking wet," his mother, Ivana Dennis, told WTXF-TV. "He urinated on himself. He had nothing to eat and said he was crying" after he woke up, she said.

"It's unacceptable," said Red Clay School District spokeswoman Pati Nash, the Delaware News Journal reported. 

The driver, who was employed by a contractor, has been fired, according to the district.

Surveillance video at the bus yard showed the driver leaving the vehicle without checking it back to front, as policy requires, according to the paper.

"The driver failed to check the bus to see that all children had gotten off," Nash said. "There are multiple points that child should have been recovered," Nash told the newspaper.

Ibn's mom said the school also failed to alert her when her child didn't show up at school. Robocalls are made at about 11 a.m. to parents of absent children, Nash said. But attendance in Ibn's class was taken late that day, so the tally didn't make it to the school office in time for the automated call, Nash said. 

The district has opened an investigation into the confluence of events that left Ibn trapped inside the bus all day, Nash said.

The little boy told the television station "I was asleep," for most of the time. He wasn't discovered until that afternoon, when the driver returned to the bus to make her rounds after school was dismissed. 

Ibn was taken to his elementary school, where he was checked out by the school's nurse and his mother was called.

The boy was OK and didn't have hypothermia, his family said. He was a little traumatized and doesn't want to get back on the school bus, his father, Russell Polk, told the paper.

"Most of my anger is toward the school bus driver. It's concerning to me that she didn't do her job," he said.

Ibn had a packed lunch with him but didn't eat it. Asked why, he told the station, "It's against the rules to eat on the school bus."

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