A Sumter School District bus driver and bus monitor have been charged with cruelty to children after allegedly leaving a 5-year-old boy on a bus for three hours Monday morning, according to police.
Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark said former bus driver Delinda Bradley, 49, and former bus monitor Marley Reynolds, 21, were each charged on Tuesday, a day after being fired by the district for not following procedure.
According to district spokesperson Shelly Galloway, the boy was picked up at 7 a.m. and was scheduled to be dropped off at Kingsbury Elementary School at 8 a.m. The child apparently fell asleep and did not get off the bus at his school.
After the morning route was complete the driver took the bus to Sumter High School. Galloway says the child was on the bus for a total of 3 hours, but was alone for an hour.
While doing a pre-check for the next route, a different driver discovered the child.
The child was taken to Kingsbury Elementary and his mother was notified, Galloway said.
Sumter Police officers later responded to Tuomey Regional Medical Center's emergency room where the child was being checked as a precaution.
Galloway said it is district policy for drivers to search buses before and after each route.
"The care and safety of our students is a top priority," said Galloway. "The school district is fully cooperating with law enforcement in this matter."
The misdemeanor charge carries a penalty of not more than 30 days in jail or not more than a $200 fine.
Both Bradley and Reynolds were released from jail on personal recognizance bonds and are expected to appear in court on March 11 at 2 p.m.