A CHILD with severe disabilities was left alone on a school bus after the driver seemingly forgot to drop her off at her primary and instead drove home for a break.
Five-year-old Chantelle McLeod is blind, can’t speak, is a wheelchair user and should be escorted on journeys to and from Elgin’s Greenwards Primary.
Trying to understand where the escort went and why the driver didn’t drop the youngster – the sole passenger – at school has left Chantelle’s family baffled, sickened and upset.
An urgent investigation into last Friday’s incident has been launched by Moray Council, with two members of staff suspended as ‘thorough’ inquiries continue.
Meanwhile, staff at Greenwards have been praised for raising the alarm bell after the youngster failed to appear.
"The first I heard was when the school phoned me at the back of 10am to say there had been an incident, but not to panic and that Chantelle was fine," said mum Laura, of Elgin’s Jamieson Place.
"I was just hysterical. I wanted to know how long she was alone for and if she was okay.
"They wondered why she had not attended school and phoned reception to see if I had reported her not coming in, but I hadn’t. Then, they phoned Moray Council and got hold of transport and tried to track down the driver, who was apparently at home, while Chantelle was still on the bus.
"How could the driver and escort promptly forget Chantelle only minutes after manually securing her in to the vehicle and what, exactly, is the role of an escort?"
A spokesman for the local authority said the incident is being looked into urgently.
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