Parents of boy stuck on bus hopeful for change

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)– Three-year-old Brody Hunninghake had bacterial meningitis and lost his hearing. He now attends the Kansas School for the Deaf in Olathe. Monday was the start of a new school year, but Brody never made it to class.

“The bus driver took the kids to the blind school and got lost and couldn’t remember how to get to the deaf school,” Brody’s mom, Amanda Hunninghake said.

Brody rode the bus for six hours with nothing to drink, eat, or a bathroom. A meeting Wednesday got to the bottom of it all, including how the bus driver got lost.

“He really was trying to find the location of the school, he had bad directions and the entire time that they were gone he was with the student, the student was never left alone,” Topeka school district director of communications Misty Kruger said.

The bus company also found that the driver was out of range for his two-way radio to work. That problem has been addressed.

“Durham has assigned a cell phone to this bus route so that at any point in time, contact is able to be made with the driver,” Kruger said.

The school district will also make sure a para-professional is on the bus at all times.

A check-in procedure has also been added.

“If they are running late they have set protocol people that they have to notify including the district, to alert us if they are running late,” Kruger said. “So that we can account for those minutes that that child or any of those children miss out on education wise at their school in Kansas City.”

The school district apologized to Brody and his family, calling the situation unacceptable.

“We are working directly with Durham to re-evaluate not only this particular bus route but our partnership in general and how that looks for the future because we cannot have students in situations like this,” Kruger said.

Amanda Hunninghake said she is pleased with the results of the meeting and is hopeful for the changes to come from it.

KSNT News found an app that allows you to track your child’s trip home.

It’s called Durham Bus Tracker. You can download it on your cell phone or track it online.

All you need is your student’s ID number, school district city and state.


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