NEWS

Quebec Boy Abandoned By School Bus Driver

09/13/2013 12:20 EDT | Updated 11/13/2013 05:12 EST
Shutterstock
School Bus
It was a rough start to the school year for a seven-year-old boy in Boucherville who was asked to get off the bus about a kilometre away from his house and told he was old enough to find his way.

Eager to hear about his first day at school, Justin Doucet's parents waited for him at the end of their driveway, but when the bus didn't pass by at its usual time, they started to panic.

"Suddenly, we see my cousin's van pull in to the driveway with Justin. We look in and Justin is crying, panicking. Justin is shaking," said Alain Doucet, Justin's father.

Doucet said his son was the last child on the bus, and the bus driver pulled up to a corner, telling Justin to get off because he wasn't going any farther.

"He said 'you're seven years old, you're old enough, you can find your house on your own.' So he dropped Justin there and just went," said Doucet.

Not used to walking on a major street by himself, Doucet said his son got scared and ended up walking in the wrong direction, toward a wooded area.

Doucet's cousin just happened to be driving by when she noticed the little boy. Feeling something wasn't quite right, she stopped to pick him up.

After initially getting few answers from the school board about what happened, the principal of Justin's school eventually told them the bus driver had been suspended. But he wasn't able to tell them for how long.

Doucet says his son will no longer take the bus, however, he believes other parents need to be more vigilant.

"Families think their kids are safe on the bus, but no, they need to check it out much closer than what is happening now," said Doucet.

The Commission Scolaire des Patriotes confirmed the bus driver had been suspended and that the the incident was unacceptable.

They said no matter his reasons for dropping Justin off, there are clear measures in place as to where children are to be safely dropped off.