KNOXVILLE, Ill. (WMBD) — An 11-year-old Knoxville Junior High student was left in a school van on Wednesday, Jan. 26, after he fell asleep, and his family wants answers.
He fell asleep, and before he knew it, had to figure out another way to get home.
Debra Bragg, the student’s grandmother, said, “I didn’t find out until 7:30 in the evening that my grandson David got left in a van at the bus garage after he was supposed to have been dropped off at home.”
Bragg recounted what she said happened after her 11-year-old grandson did not come home from his after-school program on time.
David was left alone after Bragg said the driver did not check to see if any of the seven students were still on the van.
“Somebody needs to answer for what happened,” said Bragg.
She said her grandson woke up around 6 p.m., checked the time, got out of the van, and started knocking on neighboring doors. Bragg said that after David knocked a few times, the manager of the van garage opened the door and drove David home.
According to the Knoxville CUSD #220 Superintendent Geoff Schoonover, who refused WMBD’s interview request, the bus driver will not be fired but will face disciplinary actions.
Bragg said, “If you or I would’ve left our child unattended in a car, in the cold, the police would’ve arrested us and DCFS would’ve taken our child.”
Her hope is that bus drivers take away a lesson from her grandson’s story. “Pay attention to what you’re doing. Do your job to the best of your ability. Every school bus driver should check their bus out before they put it away because just maybe there’s a little kid that fell asleep on the long ride home. He’s not the first kid to fall asleep on a bus, and he won’t be the last.”