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3-year-old child overlooked, left on Caddo school bus for severa - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

3-year-old child overlooked, left on Caddo school bus for several hours

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTBS) -

It's a sentence no parent ever wants to hear - your child didn't make it to school.

"I could not believe that my son was actually lost and he's supposed to be safe in the care of these people that are supposed to be doing their jobs."

Raveen Wimbley says her 3-year-old son Jaiden was put on the bus at 7:30 Monday morning by her grandmother, their normal routine, and that she didn't know he'd been counted absent until she arrived at Brown E. Moore Head Start Center on Janet Lane in Shreveport at 9:30 a.m. for a Christmas program.

"I was just thinking there's no way he could be absent, you know, we did all this stuff last night, we went and got clothes, we got his Christmas hat, we went and brought gifts to take to the school," Wimbley says.

But somehow, Jaiden was missed, and was driven the three miles back to the Caddo Community Action Agency's (CCAA) bus corral on Ockley Drive.

CCAA headquarters on St. Vincent Ave. runs 12 head start centers in the parish.

He stayed on the bus there until noon when he was discovered by a member of the CCAA's Transportation Department.

"He could be dead anywhere, somebody could have him, anything, I just didn't know."

Wimbley says she's been otherwise pleased with the school, and Speech Pathologist Vicki Marks calls it one of the best head starts in the parish.

"[The students] are in a nurturing, loving environment with teachers who have credentials and who really care about the kids," Marks says.

Marks acknowledges how much worse the situation could have been and says she hopes measures are put in place to prevent it.

"I'm hoping that people won't think that the school is irresponsible and that people won't want to send their kids here because of this one incident."

Jaiden was checked out by the Shreveport Fire Department and Wimbley says he was fine, just scared.

CCAA Executive Director Lawrence Guidry says the bus driver, as well as an aide, both admitted to not following the proper procedure of checking the entire bus twice for students at the end of the route.

He says they were both immediately terminated per CCAA policy.

He also says all of the head start centers will be implementing an additional safety measure.

That includes keeping a log of all students on the bus and then checking that log with each teacher to make sure every child makes it from the bus to the classroom.

Guidry says a meeting is scheduled on Friday for all center managers and bus drivers to discuss the new procedure.

He explained that Child Protective Services and the Louisiana Class A Daycare Licensing Department were also contacted, which is required when any instance of child abuse or neglect is reported.

He added that he deeply regrets that the incident happened to Wimbley and her son.

Wimbley says she's keeping Jaiden in the program for now, while she takes a look at her other options.

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