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Boy talks about being left on bus for hours, school says little

By Lindsay Watts, Weekend GMC Anchor/Target 13 Investigator , l.watts@krdo.com
Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:36:48 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 23 2013 11:31:15 PM CST

A Colorado Springs first-grader is speaking out about being left on his school bus for seven hours. Meanwhile, his charter school is staying tight-lipped.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

A Colorado Springs first-grader is speaking out about being left on his school bus for seven hours. Meanwhile, his charter school is staying tight-lipped about how it happened and what action is being taken.

Kamari Durham, 7, said he fell asleep on the way to his charter school, Scholars To Leaders Academy, last week. He woke up completely alone.

"I woke up and I saw that I was on the bus," said Kamari. "I thought I was sitting in a chair in my classroom, but I was on the bus."

He said he felt mad when he woke up because there was nothing to eat on the bus, and that he tried to think about happy things, like his dad making him lemonade and his mom taking him to play on a "jumpy house."

"I got a little bit scared because I heard weird noises," Kamari recalled. "I checked the back, but no one was there."

The boy said it was other students who finally noticed him.

"I got this girl's attention, and then I rolled down the window and said, 'I was left on the bus,'" Kamari said.

KRDO Newschannel 13 went to Scholars To Leaders Academy for comment Tuesday, but we were told the principal was out of the office and the vice-principal would not comment. Principal Carolyn Gery wasn't at home, either. She refused to answer questions by email, responding only with, "Appropriate action has been taken related to this matter."

School board president Paul Butcher said the board has been made aware of what happened to Kamari. He said he didn't know what personnel action had been taken, but said he trusted the administration would act appropriately.

According to a Colorado Open Records Act filed by KRDO, the employee driving the bus still works for the school. She isn't listed as a bus driver, but it's unclear if she's still driving.

Kamari said he has a question for that driver.

"Why did you leave me on the bus?" he said. "I don't know if she didn't see me or she did see me."

Kamari's dad, Lonnie, said his son is seeing a counselor because he's scared of buses and being left by himself.

Lonnie said his son has been left alone by staff before, and this time the boy won't go back to Scholars To Leaders. He said the school's response to what happened isn't good enough.

"(They said), 'We failed you again, we apologize, we're going to re-train. Is there anything you want us to do?' That's it," said Lonnie.

He said he's not sure if he will pursue legal action, but has spoken to attorneys.

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