COWETA COUNTY, Ga. - A Coweta County mother is holding her son a little tighter after her four-year-old was left on a school bus for two hours.
“I have that ‘what if’ feeling. What if nobody saw my son,” mother Shantay Strickland said.
It’s hard for Strickland not to think what could have happened after her son was left on a Coweta County school bus for hours Thursday morning.
“The bus monitor and his classmates all got off the bus. King was left sleeping on the bus,” Strickland said.
The pre-k student was scheduled to be dropped off at Jefferson Parkway Elementary School.
“The bus driver went home. When she went home, she got off the bus, she left my child. She left my child sleeping on the bus,” Strickland said.
School officials confirmed the bus driver parked the bus at their home around 7:45 Thursday morning which is miles away from the school.
“Nobody walked the bus. Nobody made sure all the kids were off the bus because if they did then my child wouldn’t have gotten left behind on the bus,” Strickland said.
Two hours later the little one figured out how to open the doors and went searching for help.
“He just knew he got off the bus and he was alone. All he could do was scream and call out to me,” Strickland said.
Nearby construction workers found the child wandering the street crying and called the police.
“I thank them because sometimes you don’t get those good Samaritans. Anything could have happened to my child,” Strickland said.
Police took the child to school but it was a phone call this mom never wanted to get.
“I hugged him and kissed him and I asked if he was ok. The first thing my child said was ‘Mommy, why didn’t you come and get me,’” Strickland said.
The four-year-old was not injured and was reunited with the family.
The school bus driver is on administrative leave pending an investigation.