Last September, Lee, a 19-year-old student with autism who was non-verbal, was left behind on a school bus for approximately nine hours after following his morning route and died as a result. The weather that day in Whittier, California, had been nearly 100 degrees. Ramirez later found Lee unresponsive on the bus after his mother called the school district to report he was not dropped off at home that afternoon.
In order to prevent similar incidents in the future, state Sen. Tony Mendoza, who represents Whittier and surrounding areas, introduced a bill that would require all school buses in California to be equipped with child detection technology. The bill recently passed the California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee unanimously, and is headed to the Senate Education Committee for consideration.
Ramirez is out on bond and is due back in court on May 27. He faces up to nine years in jail if convicted.