Parents voice frustrations after their 7-year-old was left on school bus for hours

Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 6:29 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Johnny and Heather Edsall sent their son on the bus to school Monday Sept. 18, but the 7-year-old didn’t get off at Marysville Elementary School.

Turned out, he had fallen asleep.

“All kids fall asleep. Anytime my kid get in a car and we’re going for a ride, he’s going to sleep,” said Johnny Edsall. “Most kids do that and I told him, ‘It’s not your fault buddy,’ and he’s just like, ‘I just feel bad because it happened because of me.”

The parents said when their son woke up, he screamed for help. No one came, so he eventually pried open the doors and ran to a nearby house.

The parents said Marysville Elementary School did not notify them until after 2:00 p.m., once their son was found, that he had not been there all day.

“He’s very scared, he cries every morning, so now he’s in a bad mood going to school and I’m sure it’s affecting his school day,” said Heather Edsall. “We just want other parents to know that this is happening in our school district, and it’s being covered up. Things need to be said.”

Both parents said they are grateful for their neighbor who helped their son.

They said it is more important to teach your kids their phone numbers and address — as they believe this is what helped their son communicate.

“Please educate your kids on bus safety and where they can go and what they need to do in case of an emergency and never ever stay on the bus,” said Heather. “Get off the busy and find help.”

Marysville Superintendent, Darrin Schroeder, did not return our calls Monday, but told 13 NEWS that the driver did not properly check the bus after the route — and has been relieved of transportation duties.

Johnny said that no child should have to worry about being abandoned by those who are supposed to ensure their safety.

“I want the public to know what’s going on in our area that way they can try to protect their kids as well, that way this doesn’t happen again,” said Johnny.