Copperas Cove Child Forgotten on School Bus
When you send your child off to school, you expect someone to notice if they don't make it and reach out to you. Unfortunately, a local child reportedly fell through the cracks Tuesday when she fell asleep on her school bus and found herself alone at the bus lot hours later.
According to a report from KXXV's Jarell Baker, 6-year-old Kennedy Locken was never reported as missing by Copperas Cove ISD officials, even though she didn't leave her morning school bus when it arrived at its destination Tuesday morning.
Kennedy told KXXV that after waking up alone and scared, she banged on the bus windows so that someone could let her out. She says some people noticed her inside the bus, but made no attempt to help.
Eventually Kennedy escaped the bus by using the emergency exit and walked herself into the transportation office, where transportation staff helped her get in touch with her mom around 12:45 PM.
Kennedy's mother, Gabrielle Locken, was surprised to learn that her child never made it to school, as she had no previous indication of the situation.
Gabrielle believes that the bus driver never scanned her daughter's school ID, which is used to track students who get on and off the bus. The school also did not notify Gabrielle of her child's absence at the school.
The worst part? Gabrielle says this isn't the first time one of her children was left on a school bus. She says one of her sons found himself in a similar situation 2 years ago.
Gabrielle is ready for a change in the bus system so that no other children are forgotten.
Copperas Cove ISD released a statement after the incident in which officials said they are investigating Tuesday's incident and plan to take "take appropriate administrative action based on the findings". According to the statement, CCISD drivers are required to perform checks to see if any students remain on their bus.
Hopefully this incident serves as a stark reminder of why drivers need to perform these checks and be thorough. Thankfully Kennedy was ok, but there's no telling who she may have encountered after managing to get off the bus or how she could have been harmed.
If you're reading this, consider doing a couple of things soon.
First, contact your child's school and ask about their bus policies, such as passenger checks and emergency procedures.
Second, take a moment to talk to your kids about how to safely exit a bus if they find themselves in a similar situation to Kennedy's and have to seek help. Hopefully they never have to use that information, but it certainly wouldn't hurt for them to have it.