Child Left on Bus in Freezing Temps

By Jami Brinton, Reporter

KEOKUK COUNTY - Cold weather contributed to a traumatic incident involving a five year old girl left on a bus.

It happened Monday morning in Thornburg, Iowa which is in Keokuk County.

What appears to be just an accident involving this kindergarten student named Mariah and her bus driver has many in Keokuk County outraged.

Monday morning, Mariah fell asleep on the bus before it arrived at school.

The temperature that morning was near zero.

When the bus driver finished his route, he parked the bus. Then Mariah woke up. She was cold. And walked over to her school to try to get in.

But the doors were locked.

"She said she stood there and knocked on the door and screamed for someone to let her in," said Heather Little, Mariah's mom. "Stood there until they found her."

Mariah was crying and told her teacher what had happened.

The school then called her mom Heather.

"I was shocked that something could happen," said Little.

The Tri-County Community School Superintendent Bill Cox says the bus driver should have checked the bus before he left it.

But the driver didn't.

And some parents want him held accountable.

"I'd like to see the bus driver let go," said Candice Fogle. "This is the last straw. Mariah could have got reall hurt. Someone could've kidnapped her."

Mariah's mom just wants the school to call parents sooner if their child doesn't make it to school.

Other parents expect the school administration to do...

"Nothing," said Fogle.

And why is that?

"Because they don't do anything the parents contact them about," Fogle.

Superintendent Bill Cox told us the district regrets this happened.

But the bus driver will not be reprimanded and the school doesn't intend to change any policies.

We were unable to reach the bus driver today.
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