Deaf girl's bus ride home sparks questions from investigators
6:44 PM, Nov 21, 2017
6:47 PM, Nov 21, 2017
LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - It was a scary ride home from school for Zar'Riah Hansel last week.
"She can't speak up for herself, we are her parents, we are her voice," said Briesha McNeely.
McNeely says her daughter suffers from 80% hearing loss, which makes communicating with strangers very difficult.
"As far as words and communication, she is not going to be able to understand. But she can read the lips and the body language," explained McNeely.
McNeely says Zar'Riah boarded her Clark County School District bus last Wednesday from Roundy Elementary. The ride usually takes 30 minutes and she arrives just after 4 p.m.
McNeely said she was out at the bus stop well before and after the bus was supposed to drop her daughter off.
"4 o'clock comes, no bus, 4:07 comes, no bus," said McNeely.
Little Zar'Riah had apparently dozed off on the bus, which didn't help matters.
For her parents, panic set in, because Zar'Riah arrived home well after dark.
"He pretty much explained to me for about 15 minutes that he forgot my daughter on the bus." said David Hansel, Zar'Riah's father.
Hansel said the driver explained he was nearly back to the bus yard when little Zar'Riah began crying on the empty school bus. That was when the driver realized he needed to turn around.
"I told him at that point, it was unacceptable. He was pretty much a acknowledging that he had no accountability for the students are on the bus," said Hansel.
Contact 13 asked CCSD about the transportation trouble. A spokesperson provided the following statements:
“The Clark County School District is committed to providing safe, timely, efficient and courteous bus transportation services to every eligible student.
“In this instance, CCSD staff worked diligently to ensure the student arrived home safely from school and was never without adult supervision.
“After learning about the incident, a transportation investigator quickly reached out to the child’s parents to talk with them to address any concerns.
The school district did not address a chronic late bus issue, which Zar'Riah's parents have complained about.