UPDATE: Driver fired after disabled student left alone on school bus
A driver has been fired after a disabled teen was left alone on a school bus for several hours in Toronto last week.
Laura Mastache's 19-year-old daughter Wendy, a TDSB student, has autism and epilepsy and has trouble communicating.
Last Monday, Wendy got onto her bus like she does everyday, but she never made it into her school. The bus driver usually drops off students at the front doors and then takes Wendy to the back for her specialized program.
Laura says the driver later told her she forgot about Wendy. After stopping at the school, the driver parked the bus in a lot, locked it and went to a funeral. It seems Wendy spent all that time sitting on the bus alone.
"She's really traumatized," Laura says, thinking of her daughter sitting in the cold with no food, drink or bathroom. She says her daughter used to love going to school, but now she sleeps in and doesn't want to go. "When I ask her to put on the uniform, she cries. She gets really upset. She's not the same."
The TDSB says the situation is completely unacceptable and are taking steps to make sure this will not happen again.
The bus company, Stock Transportation, says the driver has been fired.
Laura says she's concerned it could happen again to someone else.
"It's not that she's fine, she wasn't killed... it's not enough."
Drivers are supposed to do a visual check of the bus before locking it, and the school board says it has reiterated with all carriers the importance of the checks.
Laura was also concerned that she did not receive a call that her daughter was not in class until the end of the school day, because she is over 18. TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird says the board has made a change so that parents will receive a call right away, no matter the student's age.