Mother charged with unlawfully entering school bus to help a son she thought was ill


SARA GANIM
The Patriot-News
July 24, 2011

If Tara Keener had known that her 5-year-old son was only sleeping, she might not have acted this way.

But Keener, an emergency room nurse, didn’t know. All she knew was what she could see through the windows of a big yellow school bus as she walked down her Perry County driveway. Other kids were standing over the kindergartner’s assigned seat, yelling that Xander was slumped over.

“Help, he’s not moving,” she recalled during a recent court hearing. “We can’t wake him up.”

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So she ran to the bus, up the steps and to the landing. The driver told her she couldn’t get on the bus. It’s against the law.

Keener kept going. “My focus was on my son,” she told a judge.

What happened on that bus Dec. 15 has earned Keener a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully entering a school bus. She’s now awaiting trial in Perry County Court.

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