Raleigh kindergartner left on school bus

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Kahlil Watkins

A 6-year-old Raleigh Kindergarten student stayed home from school Friday. His parents refused to let him go after - they say - he was left behind on a school bus for an hour.

"I'm upset because my baby could have died and I feel like they don't care," said mom Jonique Conyers.

Khalil Watkins attends Pave Charter School in southeast Raleigh. He and his family spoke exclusively with ABC11 and explained he fell asleep riding the bus Thursday morning.

"I opened my eyes, grabbed my book bag, and then I pushed the door open with my hand and next, I walked across the street," he said.

Mom and dad said there's a bus driver and monitor on board buses to watch over the kids. The parents now want those employees fired.

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"They didn't check, they didn't do their job," said dad Jamal Watkins. "The bus drivers need to take full responsibly for their actions."

Pave Charter School subcontracts its bus service. ABC11 reached out to Elite Transportation for comment, but the call has not been returned.

Pave Managing Director Alex Quigley said changes are being made.

"Student safety is our first priority. The child was accounted for and spent the day safely at school," he said in a statement. "We contract out our bus services and have addressed why protocols were not followed with the bus company. We have been assured that corrective action has been taken. This type of situation has not happened before and we don't expect it will happen again.

The promise isn't enough for Conyers.

"I don't trust putting him on the bus anymore. If I have to drive him to school and be late to work, that's what I'll do. But he will no longer ride the bus anymore," she said.

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