Stillwater Preschooler Left Alone On School Bus For Over An Hour - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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Stillwater Preschooler Left Alone On School Bus For Over An Hour

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Ray Jackson says his 4-year-old daughter was left on a school bus for more than an hour Friday. Ray Jackson says his 4-year-old daughter was left on a school bus for more than an hour Friday.
STILLWATER -

The family of a preschooler says their daughter sat on a public school bus for almost two hours before administrators tracked her down. Her parents now urge lawmakers to look into the incident and create a law to crack down on these mistakes.

Ariana Jackson, a 4-year-old preschool student at the Richmond Early Childhood Center, never showed up Friday morning. Her parents told News 9 that they got a courtesy call that Ariana was not in school. It was 90 minutes after her dad put her on the bus with her older siblings.

"Got the kids ready for school, all three of them take the same bus. My 9-year-old, my 7-year-old and of course my 4-year-old got them on the bus at 7:17," explained Ray Jackson, Ariana's dad. "Then I get a phone call at 9:04, one of those automated calls that says, ‘just wanted to let you know, this is a courtesy call to let you know your daughter Ariana is not in school today.'"

Jackson said he panicked after that phone call and got on the phone with her school and administrators. Once it was confirmed that Ariana was missing, Jackson jumped into the car and headed for RECC. When he arrived, two teachers met him at the front doors and said Ariana was found safe. She was still on the school bus Jackson put her on that morning.

"Who's to stop anyone from walking up seeing a little girl on the bus saying hey are you left alone, come with me, and then there you go, now she's abducted. There's a lot of things that could have happened," said Jackson.

While Jackson is pleased with the school district's response, he says more needs to happen to keep students safe. He said it could have been much worse had the weather been extremely hot or cold or if the wrong person found Ariana on the bus.

"It could have been worse, I'm just grateful that she's okay but something's got to be done to where this doesn't happen to anyone else. God forbid some kid loses his life because of someone's negligence," he said.

The Stillwater Public School District did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday. School was canceled. Other school districts have buses that set off an alarm after the bus driver ends a route. To turn it off, they have to walk the length of the bus, checking for anyone left behind. It's unclear if Stillwater buses have that equipment.

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