District investigating student left on school bus

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. -- The Queen Creek Unified School District is investigating an incident involving a kindergarten student being left on a school bus.

Kerry Mosley says her son, Zealand, fell asleep while riding the bus to Jack Barnes Elementary Tuesday afternoon and was left on board by the bus driver.

"The bus driver, who I know only has seven or eight kids on the bus, didn't check her bus and he was asleep back there, and she went back to the bus yard and left him," Mosley said.

It's not clear how long the 5-year-old was left on the bus and there's some conflicting information about how he eventually got off of it.

Mosley said the school district told her another driver saw him knocking on the bus window and got him off, but Zealand told her a different story.

"He told me that he actually walked off the bus and was walking around the yard and found a man," she said.

Mosley said she was also told that Zealand's bus driver did return to the bus yard after she realized she did not check the bus to make sure there were no children on board.

Queen Creek Unified School District Superintendent Tom Lindsey declined 3TV's request for an on-camera interview, sending us the statement below instead:

"At Queen Creek Unified School District student safety is our top priority. All reporting requirements were followed when the kindergarten student bus incident was reported to administration. The employee has been placed on administrative leave pending a full investigation of the matter."

Mosley said she got a call about two hours after her son was picked up at his bus stop to go to school that this had happened.

"I'm frustrated and I'm a little angry," she said.

While Zealand is physically OK, Mosley says he's been traumatized by the incident and no longer wants to ride the bus to school.

The Mosleys did contact the sheriff's office to see if it would look into the incident.

In the meantime, the family is left with a lot of questions and concerns about how something like this could even happen.

"You would expect that they would check their bus, especially in the middle of summer with it being so hot because this very easily could have turned into something fatal," said Mosley.

For now, Zealand does not want to ride the bus alone and his mom said she doesn't know that she feels comfortable with him riding it alone, so for now she is dropping him off. 

Mosley said Zealand will likely continue to take the bus home because he can ride it with his older sibling.