BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (WAFB/Gray News) – Five-year-old Seayontai Banks Jr. was supposed to attend classes at Capitol Elementary School on Thursday, but instead spent four hours alone in a special needs bus.
His great-grandmother, Pleasant Hebert, said she realized he hadn’t arrived at school when he got a notice from his teacher.
“He couldn’t go to school, so I called her then. ‘You put him on the bus this morning, does that mean he didn’t come to school?'” she said. I’m freaking out, crying, telling someone, “I need to find my baby.” He didn’t make it to school. I don’t know which bus he is on. He didn’t get on the bus he was supposed to take. ”
Seayontai Banks Jr., 5, was supposed to attend classes at Capitol Elementary School on Thursday, Jan. 5, but instead spent four hours alone in a special needs bus.
When they went to the school’s transportation department, the bus carrying the children got stuck in the mud, and the students had to transfer to another bus from the capital’s middle school. From there, Banks is believed to have remained in the original bus, slept while being removed from the mud, returned to the bus garage to be washed, and returned to the bus driver’s house.
“Why didn’t the bus driver check for students? You can imagine this was an emergency. This was certainly an exception. The bus got stuck in the mud and their first concern was It was about getting the students off the bus, getting them to a safe place, and getting them off to school,” said Ben Lemoyne, communications director for the East Baton Rouge Parish Board of Education.
Ms Lemoine said the bus driver was a scapegoat and didn’t know her child had been left behind until he got home and cleaned up.
“As you know, it’s understandable for parents to be concerned given this situation. I want them to know that the bus drivers and all the staff are well trained. This is certainly abnormal.” It was a mistake and will be corrected,” Lemoyne said.
The bus driver and aide are reprimanded and ordered to retrain.
Hebert said she was just grateful that her little boy was safe.
“The fact that he slept unnoticed in the bus all the time was a good thing that it wasn’t cold and it wasn’t burning hot. He slept with his coat on. He had fur on the inside. I was wearing a jacket, so I sleep in my clothes on the bus,” said Hebert.
Copyright 2023 WAFB via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.