Sleeping child found at Niles bus garage

NILES – The Niles City School District is investigating claims that a student was found sleeping on a bus this week.

A similar case in 2011 resulted in the suspension of a bus driver.

A woman who would identify herself only as a concerned parent said the elementary school child was found sleeping on a bus inside the bus garage after the other children had been taken home. She said the driver was unaware of the child and had already left the garage when workers inside the garage found the child.

“You get a little rattled when you hear news like this,” she said.

Interim Superintendent Frank Danso said he was notified of the incident late Thursday and met with school officials Friday afternoon regarding the incident.

“We’re still in the investigative process here,” Danso said, explaining that the investigation involves interviewing the bus driver and the worker who found the child.

The bus driver is on paid leave until the investigation is concluded, at which time officials will determine what the next step will be, Danso said.

In November 2011, district employee Becky Puckett dropped off about 50 students at Jackson Elementary School. After the last student walked off the bus, Puckett told district officials that she checked to make sure all the students were off the bus, and then drove to the district’s bus parking facility and left the vehicle.

About 10 minutes later, a second bus driver heard a noise on Puckett’s bus and discovered the child.

Puckett was placed on five-day, unpaid suspension.