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Mother in ‘shock’ after daughter left on IPS bus for hours

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis mother is hoping for answers after her 7-year-old daughter was left alone for hours on an IPS school bus.

She wanted to share her story with other parents, but asked 24-Hour News 8 to conceal her identity.

“Absolute shock because you put your children’s safety in the hands of these people when they get on that bus,” said the mother.

She tells 24-Hour News 8 the school bus picked up her daughter around 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday. But the first grader did not get off the bus at William McKinley 39.

“When the bus started pulling out she had gotten scared at that point,” the mother said. “She was afraid to go to the bus driver because it wasn’t her normal bus driver. It was a substitute.”

The mother says the bus driver drove back to the bus barn downtown not realizing that someone else was still on board.

“Obviously nobody heard her because the bus parking lot is empty and so until the other bus driver pulled up and seen my daughter sitting in the window,” said the mother. “They had no idea that my daughter had been left behind.”

The mother says her daughter had been sitting on the bus for most of the school day.

She says someone from Indianapolis Public School Police called to explain to her what happened.

“According to them the bus driver did not follow policy and procedure to checking the bus before she left the premises,” said the mother. “Locked my daughter on the bus with the windows up and the doors shut.”

The mother says she’s glad her little girl is safe and sound. She’s just hoping that this oversight doesn’t happen again to another child.

“I want to move forward with them so that another parent does not have to go through this and that another parent doesn’t have to get that phone call that their child was neglected by the school system because that’s basically what happened,” the mother said.

Indianapolis Public Schools issued a statement saying, “Our Operations Division is investigating to determine the timeline of events that led to this incident. Steps will be taken to ensure appropriate measures are in place to prevent future occurences.”

A spokesperson for IPS says a medical staff checked up on the 7-year-old girl to make sure she was okay before taking her home.

She says the incident is still under investigation and has been reported to the state’s Department of Education.