Father: Bus Driver Left Student Behind Because He Had Spider


UPDATED: Thursday October 18, 2012 5:53 PM

A Pickerington father said his 10-year-old son was left along the side of the road after a school bus driver would not take him to school because he had a spider that he was taking to class.

Father Jon Rice said Monday's assignment seemed simple enough.

"Basically, bringing a spider in a cup and take it to the school for his eco-project," explained Rice.

Rice said he always gives his son a hug and says goodbye and then walks to his car. He looks back to make sure his son gets on the bus.

Rice said he saw his son get on the bus, so he went on to work. Ten minutes later, he said he got a call that his son was left behind.

"When I showed up, within 10 minutes to get back to the bus stop, I find my son standing there alone, no one around, and he is visibly upset," explained Rice.

Pickerington Local Schools confirmed that there was an assignment to bring an insect to school, but the district contracts with Petermann for their bus service.

A manager with Petermann told Rice that it is their policy to not allow animal or insects on any bus.

Now, this father wants to know why it seems the company had no policy for how it deals with children it leaves behind.

"I think this is a huge issue that we need to work on to protect our kids to make sure they are not left at a bus stop alone because we all know what can happen within five minutes," said Rice.

The bus company released the following statement Thursday afternoon:

"Petermann's primary focus is the safe transportation of all students. Our policy of no animals or insects on the bus is intended to promote a safe environment for all students. We understand the family's concern when a student was told on Monday he could not board the bus with a live insect he was bringing for a science project, which resulted in the student being left unattended at his bus stop while waiting for his father. We are investigating the matter and reviewing operational guidelines as a result of this incident."

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