Local Coverage

Feb 19, 2013 10:24 PM

Mayor of McKee Resigns As School Bus Driver After A Child Is Left On the Bus

The Mayor of McKee, who is also a Jackson County School Bus driver, says he's sorry after a child was accidentally left on his school bus Tuesday morning.

The little boy is fine. The five-year-old was found playing on the bus, but Mayor John Tompkins told LEX18 he wants people to know he's sorry about the mistake, and is resigning as a school bus driver.

On a day school officials were looking forward to hosting the big District Basketball Tournament, they found themselves also dealing with a close call.

A five-year-old boy was left on a school bus on Main Street in McKee. After dropping the children on board off at school, the bus driver, Mayor John Tompkins, headed home and parked the bus across the street from his house. He got ready to go to City Hall. Unknown to him, a little boy was still on board. Around 9:30 am, School Board attorney Larry Bryson says another bus driver noticed the boy playing on the bus. The child was taken to the Central Office to be reunited with his parents.

Lola Holliman is a neighbor and close friend of Tompkins'.

"It will take him a long time to get over this, I'm sure," says Holliman.

Holliman noticed two school buses parked on the road, and thought it was odd.

"He'll do everything to make it right," says Holliman. She says the Mayor is widely known and respected for his work supporting the area food bank and Toys for Tots in the Jackson County community.

"I know if it was in anybody's shoes they'd be really upset, but it was a mistake, and I'm sure John feels really bad about it too. I'm sure he'll be forever apologizing to everybody," says Holliman.

Tompkins declined to go on camera, but told LEX18 he can't express how upset he is over this, and said he personally apologized to the family. Tompkins also said he resigned as school bus driver.

School Board Attorney Larry Bryson said the Jackson County Superintendent accepted Tompkins' resignation as bus driver. Tompkins said he thought the stress of balancing the two jobs became overwhelming and likely contributed to the mistake.

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