The Grade Blog

Tuesday, Dec 03 2013 01:50 PM

Family of boy left on bus files legal claim

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    By Contributed photo

    Kaleb Lepe, 8, was inadvertently forgotten on a Kern County Superintendent of Schools office school bus for more than five hours on Sept. 9. The district has since revised its procedures in an attempt to prevent future problems. This photo of Kaleb is from his family.

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BY COURTENAY EDELHART Californian staff writer cedelhart@bakersfield.com

The family of an 8-year-old autistic boy who was inadvertently left behind on a school bus three months ago has filed a legal claim naming the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office and the county of Kern as defendants.

Kaleb Lepe was alone on a parked bus for more than five hours Sept. 9, when the high temperature for the day was 98 degrees.

After a substitute driver who was working that day finished her route, she parked under an awning at the KCSOS bus yard at 705 S. Union Ave., leaving the vehicle at about 8:35 a.m. Another employee discovered the child at 1:55 p.m.

The boy attends a KCSOS class on the campus of San Lauren Elementary School in northwest Bakersfield. KCSOS provides transportation to and from the campus, which is part of the Beardsley School District.

Kaleb suffered dehydration, manifested by vomiting and diarrhea, and his parents suffered emotional distress, according to the claim family attorney John C. Hall filed Nov. 8.

The claim "would be more than $10,000 and would not be a limited civil case," according to the filing.

Hall did not return a call to his office.

KCSOS Chief of Staff Stephen Sanders said, "We have not been made aware of a pending claim; however we will work through the process with the appropriate parties to come to a resolution if such a claim is received."

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