A Philadelphia school bus driver is facing charges after allegedly leaving a 7-year-old student alone on a bus.
Police say Jamar Henry, 28, was driving the student home from Cornerstone Christian Academy when he stopped at the Shop Rite on 6700 Haverford Avenue Monday at 4:44 p.m. Henry stopped in front of the store, told the student to stay on the bus as he left and entered the grocery store, according to investigators.
Police observed the idling bus and noticed the student by himself. An officer spoke to the student, who said Henry left him unattended for around ten minutes. The officer continued talking to the student when Henry was then seen running towards the school bus, police said.
Henry allegedly told the officer he had a bathroom emergency and needed to stop. The officer looked at surveillance video and determined it didn't match up with Henry's explanation however. Police also say Henry was in possession of marijuana.
Henry is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, marijuana possession and other related offenses.
A spokesperson for the bus contractor, Durham School Services, told NBC10 Henry was fired after the incident. The spokesperson also said Henry had passed his pre-employment screening and drug tests before he was initially hired.
A spokesperson for Cornerstone Christian Academy released the following statement on the incident:
Cornerstone Christian Academy would like to express our sincerest gratitude to the passerby who reported the incident concerning a student being left behind on the school bus yesterday evening, January 9, 2017. We would also like to thank the Philadelphia Police officer who stayed with the student and notified the school of the situation. Our first priority is always the safety and security of our students and we look forward to working together with the School District of Philadelphia’s bus services to ensure that our students are escorted safely to and from school.