Photo of Aaron Cook, the special-needs child allegedly left on a Jones County bus alone for hours. (Courtesy of the family)
A Macon parent says she's angry her special-needs child was left on a Jones County school bus for more than 6 hours.
Marlene Porter said her 10-year-old autistic son Aaron was picked up around 6:30 am, and remained on the bus until about 1 p.m. School officials told her the bus driver was in a hurry to see her husband in the hospital, and neglected to do a head count when the children got off the bus at Dames Ferry Elementary School.
Porter says her son doesn't speak, so he couldn't alert anyone for help while he was buckled up in the school bus.
"If it had been me leaving my child somewhere, I'd be locked up," said Porter. "I'm mad. I don't know who to blame. I'm mad at the bus driver. If she was in that big of a hurry she shouldn't have been driving the bus."
Porter took Aaron to the emergency room for an evaluation because he has ADHD and severe autism, and she says he seemed distressed.
"When he gets upset, he hits his head a lot," said Porter. "He gets agitated real easily, and him being confined to that seat all day long, I'm sure he sat there the whole 4, 5, 6 hours beating his head. They said when they found him he was real calm but I don't know."
We've reached out to the school district, but have not yet heard back. Porter said district officials planned on reviewing the school bus tapes. Jones County sheriff's deputies were called out. Sheriff Butch Reese told us his office will be investigating.