JCPS: Bus driver resigns after 5-year-old left on school bus - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS: Bus driver resigns after 5-year-old left on school bus

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A JCPS bus driver has resigned, after leaving a kindergarten student behind on an empty bus.

The girl was left alone for more than two hours.

JCPS says the driver, 57-year-old Michael Wise, broke district policy not once, but twice. He has since resigned before he could be fired.

The 5-year-old girl was supposed to have gotten off at Eisenhower Elementary on Jessamine Lane in southwest Louisville, but apparently fell asleep.

JCPS says Wise failed to check his bus before leaving the school, and again before leaving the Lees Lane bus compound.

"The driver is to stop the bus, walk to the back of the bus, physically checking every seat to make sure all the students have, in fact, gotten off the bus. That did not happen,” said JCPS Chief Operating Officer Michael Raisor.

JCPS says its review of an on-board security camera showed the girl on the empty bus between 9:00 and 9:15am before the camera shuts off automatically.

Cameras at the compound spotted her off the bus at around 11:20. JCPS says she was also seen by another driver who called the compound

"The compound immediately responded to the scene. LMPD had actually responded a little bit earlier, and were there," said Raisor.

Raisor says as far as he knows, the girl never left JCPS property.

"The only time we see her leaving the compound is right before she was noticed standing on the curb."

But witnesses, including a Jefferson Co. Sheriff's deputy, say they did spot the girl outside the compound, walking down the sidewalk.

Neighbor Chris Hargrove said he was sitting in his living room when he saw the girl walking out of the compound.

"Once I called the police, I pretty much got in my car, followed her down the street and pretty much stopped her before the situation got any worse," he said.

Hargrove says he and others stayed with the girl until help arrived.

"I'm just glad she's home with her mom, glad nothing happened, glad she didn't get run over by a car. I'm just glad to be there to help her," said Hargrove.

JCPS says it is now reminding all drivers of district policy.

"This is incomprehensible. It's unacceptable. As I said, it's intolerable. This is the most basic thing we tell drivers. Check your bus. Check your bus twice," said Raisor.

JCPS says Wise has worked for the district for five years with no disciplinary issues.

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