(KWWL) – KWWL wanted to look into standard bus procedure after two mishaps occurred in Waterloo this week. We confirmed with two different sources that it’s standard procedure for a bus driver to walk the bus to check for children who might be sleeping or hiding.
On Tuesday a six year-old boy was left on a van after its driver had finished a route. That boy then woke up inside the bus barn. The driver involved in that incident has since been fired, according to Durham Bus Services who provides service for Waterloo. A spokesperson for Durham also said that those vans are owned by the Waterloo Community School District but the driver was employed by the bus service.
The buses in Waterloo are equipped with an electronic check system that alerts the driver if they have not walked the length of the bus to check for kids. It consists of a button at the back of the bus that the driver would press after walking through the bus. If the door is opened and the check hasn’t been done an alarm will sound and lights inside the bus flash until the system is deactivated.
A similar system is in place in Independence, Iowa. The transportation director of the school district says that is just one component of keeping kids safe.
“All our bus drivers call ahead to parents before the route starts for the year. They give the bus driver their name and number. And if they have any issues they can call them,” said Kim Chesmore, the Independence School District Transporation Director.
Waterloo Community School Districts said in multiple statements Wednesday that they were working to ensure that incidents like these don’t occur again and that safety was their top priority. Their most recent statement is below.
Waterloo Schools is investigating the incident and working with Durham School Services to make sure disciplinary action is taken if necessary to address potential violations, prevent any more issues and keep the safety of our students the primary focus.