Polk Student Forced To Hitchhike 30 Miles Home

A Polk County school bus driver and an attendant face negligent child abuse charges after twice leaving a sleeping special needs student alone on their bus after completing a run.

Officials say 51 year old driver Gale Brown and 57 year old attendant Gwendolyn Simmons failed to physically walk the length of the bus inside after dropping off students at Our Children’s Academy in Lake Wales.

They had also turned off the alarm system in the back of the bus that forces the driver to walk all the way through and check for children.


bus driver 1

bus driver 2

They parked the bus and left, unaware that a 13 year old special needs student remained asleep on board.

When the boy awoke, he climbed out through an emergency exit window and hitch hikes 30 miles to his house.

This is apparently the second time the boy has been left alone on the bus.