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5-Year-Old Gets Sick, Kicked off Bus

Girl kicked off school bus for being sick
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

Kids get sick; it's a fact of life. One gets sick, then another gets sick ... then the whole class gets sick. And then (cherry on top), your kid carries it home on the bus, and you get sick! It's all a very fun cycle that repeats itself over and over during the school year.

So we get it—transporting a sick kid on the bus probably means one or more of their little school friends will wind up with the sniffles, too. But kicking a kid off a bus just because they're sick? That's a new one.

Florida mom Erika Herrera is understandably livid after her daughter, Lena Guzzo-Aguilar, grew sick on a recent school ride and threw up on the bus. The bus driver's solution to the problem? According to local news outlet WKMG-TV, instead of coming to her aid, the bus driver pulled over and told the girl to get off the bus. Then he drove away, leaving her in the dust. (What!?)

Now, it's routine in Florida's Orange County Public School District to call dispatch when a kid gets sick on the bus–but the followup protocol usually involves the bus continuing on to school, where it's arranged for the child to get picked up. In this case, though, reports aren't clear as to whether or not dispatch was ever called; and the bus driver claims it was the child who asked to be let off the bus.

"She belongs to him, in his safety, in his care. How are you going to tell her to get off?" said Herrera. "It makes me kind of angry, depressed to think I trusted somebody, the school's public bus, and the person that was driving apparently didn't care about my kid."

To make matters worse, poor little Lena had been psyched to ride the school bus for the first time before the whole thing went down.

"I was really excited," Lena told the local news. "[But then] I didn't feel so good. My stomach hurted real bad."

Luckily, a neighbor spotted the girl getting kicked off and walked her home. But things could have wound up happening a whole lot differently. Plus, we're pretty sure this whole experience has totally sucked the fun out of school buses for awhile. In the meantime, reports say that the bus driver, Daniel Rivera, has since resigned. He had only been employed with the school district for one month.

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