Parents’ lives basically revolve around their children. Until they are independent, knowing their whereabouts is definitely the most important condition for them. Imagine someone from your child’s school called you asking about your child’s absence, when all the while you believed he’s at school after sending him off to ride the school bus. You would go panic, worrying about your child’s status.
It was a normal school day.At 8:30 in the morning, 3-year-old preschooler Xavier Ebersold boarded his school bus. After 45 minutes en-route, the bus arrives at school and Xavier was reportedly marked present by his teacher. 3 hours later, Xaviers mom suddenly received a call from the school secretary.
She was inquiring on Xavier’s absence from the school.It was a shocking moment for the Xavier’s parents, knowing that nobody knows about their son’s whereabouts.
Fortunately, shortly after alerting the school authorities, the boy was found. The executive director managed to quickly track down Xavier. They found him sleeping inside that same bus he rode for school. He was still strapped unto his car seat at the back of the bus when it was already parked about 6 miles away from the school premises.
“Momma I cried for you, nobody let me off the bus.” said the poor boy upon being reunited with his mom. Xavier’s parents were both equally perplexed and furious as to what could have possibly gone wrong. Nobody can imagine how they missed a child crying to be let off the bus.
These children are securely buckled into the bus’ car seats. It is the job of the driver and the school bus monitor to ensure their safety throughout the trip and more importantly in this case, to unbuckle them and let them off the bus the time they arrive at school.
The parents were also puzzled as to why it took that long before the school staff noticed their child is missing and how the teacher could have possibly marked him present.
“To me there is no excuse for what happened to my son today,” stressed Xavier’s dad pointing out the grave neglect of the driver and monitor in forgetting a child aboard their bus.
Soon after the incident, the school fired those responsible for that negligence, namely the monitor, driver, and the lazy teacher who obviously took his attendance record for granted.
The school, together with the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, are cooperating with the Ebersolds for further investigation on the matter. Xavier’s mom initially approached the police to file a report. Nonetheless, her notion was disapproved since according to them, no crime has been committed.
Mr. Ebersold however couldn’t let it pass quietly. He demanded school policies be changed to ensure children’s safety and avoid similar mishaps. “It’s kind of nerve-racking to think your child is not going to come home because someone didn’t take the 30 seconds to walk to the end of the bus. What would’ve happened if this happened on a colder day or in the middle of summer?” he said telling-off school authorities.
No matter our profession, be it driver, monitor, teacher, school principal, or parent, we learn the most valuable lessons mostly from our mistakes. It just depends on how we react to them. For example, as a resolve to this situation, the school bus procedures should be refined or perhaps preschoolers like Xavier should be driven to and fetched from school by parents themselves.
In this case, all minute factors of negligence seemed to conspire just to make this unfortunate event happen, but we can only be thankful that Xavier turned out to be safe.
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