Blount County bus driver fired after he drops Kindergartner off

Blount County bus driver fired after he drops Kindergartner off with older student

MARYVILLE (WATE) - A Blount County bus driver was fired after he failed to follow protocol Wednesday afternoon while making his usual route.
According to Betsy Cunningham, Communications Director at Blount County Schools, the driver dropped the 5-year-old Kindergarten student off with an older student at a location other than her home address.
Cunningham says the little girl switched lines while waiting for the bus and got on the wrong bus without the driver's knowledge. When he dropped off his first load of elementary school children, he failed to notice the girl when he made no standard sweep of the vehicle to ensure no passengers remained.
After picking up his next load of middle and high school students, he then realized the girl was on the bus. Instead of following protocol and alerting the bus service, the driver asked an older student to make sure the girl got home.
The girl was reported missing at 3:30 that afternoon when she did not arrive at her home address. Authorities received a call from a woman who stated that she had seen the girl on Maples Road.
Officers arrived on scene and verified the missing girl's identity.
The former bus driver's identity cannot be confirmed since Blount County bus services are contracted.

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