JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s something, as a superintendent, he says he struggles with daily.
“Every time something like this happens, it weighs on me. I think about it. I sometimes even beat myself up to say what could I have done differently,” Duval County Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said.
This week, not even a year after a teen was killed after jumping off the back of a bus, another fall happened.
An investigation is underway to find out if Ian Flores, an 11-year-old mentally handicapped student at Holiday Hill Elementary School, fell or jumped from a moving bus on University Boulevard.
So who should be responsible?
We went straight to the top – to Duval County Superintendent Nikolai Vitti to get the answers.
“We are looking nationally at what’s being done and at this point we haven’t found that solution yet. But I do think we have to continue to investigate,” said Vitti.
Vitti tells us the issue is complicated. For safety reasons, those on the bus need to be able to open the emergency exit door. It’s also a balancing act when it comes to responsibility between the bus company and the school system. But it’s a conversation Vitti promises to not shy away from.
“I think the important piece is taking ownership of it, taking responsibility, and ensuring we’re problem solving to find a solution and not making excuses,” said Vitti.
The district is talking internally about their different options.
Flores was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. He remains in critical condition.
The case remains under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol.