Local mom upset after son with special needs dropped off hours l - KMOV.com

Local mom upset after son with special needs dropped off hours late

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By Carlos Otero By Carlos Otero

 (KMOV) -- A St. Louis mother wanted answers after her special needs child was more than two hours late getting home from school on Tuesday and she said this wasn’t the first time.

“I really began to get worried that maybe there had been an accident or perhaps my son had gotten off at the wrong stop and they couldn't locate him,” said Julie Hawker. Her son, Robert has a form of autism which made the bus delay especially difficult.

“He has low tolerance for waiting so being on a bus for two hours really pushed him beyond his ability to cope,” Hawker said.

She said the bus has been late before but she felt an 8 p.m. arrival time was excessive when the after-school program Robert attends at Gateway High School ended at 5:15 p.m.

When asked how something like this happened, Patrick Wallace with the St. Louis Public Schools said, "well unfortunately sometimes you have substitute drivers as you would substitute teachers in school, and we had a substitute driver on the route last night who didn't report to the school at the proper time.”

St. Louis School District officials said on top of a late driver, having 14 special needs kids on board requires extra care. But the district said they already have a solution in place to bypass any future delays.

“The district is going to have three buses drive that route because we want to make sure students aren't on the bus any longer than an hour at the longest,” said Wallace.

“When he comes in and he's home on time I can say that I'm really very exuberant,” said Hawker.

Stay with News 4 and KMOV.com for any further updates. 

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