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Bus Driver Fired After Napping Child Locked In Garage

December 10, 1987

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ A bus driver was fired after a 4-year-old preschooler fell asleep during his ride home and was locked in the bus garage for two hours, officials said.

Robert James fell asleep during his 15-minute ride home from classes at the Head Start Program.

George Beeler, a full-time driver for two years, took the bus to a garage for the night after he thought he had delivered all the students. The boy was discovered Tuesday night when he tripped an alarm trying to escape from the locked garage.

Police found Robert sitting on the hood of a bus. He had suffered a gash on his chin that required five stitches.

″We have been in existence for 22 years and nothing like this has ever happened before,″ said Olga Jefferson-Kerr, director of Head Start, an early childhood development program for youngsters 3-4 years old.

Drivers are instructed to inspect the buses each day after taking the students home, she said.

The boy’s mother, Elaine James, said she will find another pre-school program for her son.

″I’m not sending him back to that school again,″ she said.

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