Parents Get a Call Their 3-Year-Old Is Missing 3 Hours After Putting Him on the School Bus


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When we put our kids on a school bus or drop them off at an educational institution, we -- as parents -- are supposed to be filled with confidence. Confidence that, at the very least, every adult there will do the utmost to keep the children safe from harm. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case, as two parents found out after they realized their 3-year-old son had been left alone on a school bus for hours before anyone noticed. 

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Only three hours after the bus carted their 3-year-old son Xavier to school, Stephen Ebersold and his wife received a horrifying call from the school's secretary inquiring about their son's absence that day. Having last seen their boy safely board a school bus, the parents immediately began to panic, with no clue where their young child was. 

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About an hour after their initial call with the school's secretary, Karen Ennis -- the executive director of Triumph, Inc. Head Start Program in Taunton, Massachusetts -- finally found Xavier. The 3-year-old was strapped to his car seat inside of his school bus on a lot that was over six miles away from his school. Ennis contacted the Ebersolds and quickly reunited them with their son. Stephen Ebersold told Boston 25 News, "The first thing he said was 'momma I cried for you, nobody let me off the bus.'"

According to Boston 25 News, Xavier's school bus arrived at his preschool at around 9:15 a.m. that morning -- 45 minutes after he was picked up. The Ebersolds allege that the bus driver forgot to help the little boy off the bus and his teacher marked him as present without having actually seen him in the classroom that morning. 

The concerned parents are now questioning how it was possible for both a bus driver and a bus monitor to have missed their son; they are also wondering why it took almost three hours for the school to notice he was missing. "To me there's no excuse for what happened to my son today," said Stephen Ebersold.

In the aftermath of the incident, the Ebersold family was informed by the preschool that the bus driver, the bus monitor, and the teacher involved had all been fired.

In a statement to Boston 25 News, executive director Karen Ennis stated, "Triumph's first priority is the care and safety of our children. We are cooperating with the parents and our licensing authorities to conduct an investigation. All staff that were involved in the incident have been removed from duty. We will provide further information when all facts have been thoroughly examined and verified."

Still, the concerned parents aren't fully satisfied. "There's obviously things that could've been done and should've been done. Changes need to be made to keep kids safe," voiced Xavier's father. 

The Department of Children and Families confirmed to Boston 25 News that it is investigating the incident. 

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While Xavier Ebersold got through the frightening ordeal relatively unscathed, his mother has stated that she will be driving him to school from now on. His father seems adamant that the school make changes to ensure that this never happens again for fear that the outcome could be worse next time: "What would've happened if this had happened on a colder day or in the middle of summer?"

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