NORTH BELLMORE - The mother of a boy with autism says he was left alone on a school bus for hours, and she is now demanding answers.
Jeannine Vitucci, of North Massapequa, says her 7-year-old son, Anthony, is low-functioning and mostly nonverbal. Around 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, the principal of her son's school called her to tell her that while all of the other children left the school bus and headed to their classrooms, Anthony was left behind.
Anthony attends Nassau BOCES in North Bellmore. Jeannine says police told her the school bus driver only realized that Anthony was still on board after she stopped at a relative’s house to use the bathroom.
No explanation was given for why a sweep of the bus was not conducted after every drop-off.
Nassau BOCES admits that a child was indeed left on the bus, and that the driver and matron responsible have been relieved of their duties.
The school released a statement in part saying, "We are vigilantly investigating this incident and will take appropriate action. The safety and security of our students is our highest priority."
Vitucci says she's apprehensive about sending her son back to school on the bus Thursday morning. On one hand, she says she's nervous about how he's being cared for, but on the other hand, routine is important to him and she does not want to disturb it.