Livingston Parish school officials are investigating why a young girl was left in a parking lot after the Wednesday morning school bus commute.
The 5-year-old Southside Elementary student was left in a bus at a church off U.S. 190 between Denham Springs and Walker after the morning routes, said Superintendent John Watson and Assistant Superintendent Rick Wentzel. Staff at the church, located several miles from the girl’s school, found her after about an hour and a 15 minutes.
“Thank goodness she was located safely,” Watson said.
Parish bus drivers, most of whom do not own their school buses, often have arrangements to leave the vehicles at convenient locations during the day when they are not in use, Wentzel explained. However, drivers are supposed to check for passengers before they disembark.
“Clearly, that was not done,” Wentzel said.
Authorities said Thursday the case was still under review, and they could not comment on any punishment the driver may face, though Watson promised to take “appropriate action.”
“We did not do a good job,” he said.