Charlene - posted on 10/15/2010 ( 48 moms have responded )
The Eastern School District’s superintendent of education has apologized for the failure in busing a four-year-old girl home in a timely fashion.
“I think there were some things that could have been done better from the Eastern School District,’’ Ricky Hood said Tuesday.
“All I can do as superintendent of education is apologize for what happened that day.’’
What happened that day on Oct. 5 was young Abbey Heriazon apparently slipped on the bus at Westwood Primary School as she had done since starting school this year. This time, however, she must have got on undetected by the bus driver.
When the driver got to Abbey’s home, he asked other students if the girl was on the bus. They said no. The girl was, in fact, sitting right behind the bus driver, out of his sight.
The bus driver drove on, much to the horror of the girl’s mother, Susanne Heriazon. Heriazon called the school after watching the bus drive off without dropping off her daughter.
Ten minutes later, Heriazon was told that Abbey was on the bus and would be dropped off once the driver picked up some other students. Abbey was eventually returned home about one hour later than normal.
Heriazon says the fact the driver was unaware a four-year-old student who should be on his attendance list was riding on his bus is unacceptable.
“I don’t know how she could have bypassed him getting on the bus,’’ she said.
Hood, however, is not putting blame on the bus driver following his discussions with Westwood Primary, the girl’s parents, the student services department, the transportation department and the bus driver.
He says a bus driver does considerable juggling that includes regularly dropping students off at alternate locations due to emergencies or previous arrangements. He adds the driver has a 15-year career “that has been very good’’ and is described by many parents as a driver who puts the care and safety of his passengers first.
Heriazon feels the Eastern School District is simply explaining away what she deems careless and inattentive actions by the bus driver.
“I’m extremely disappointed,’’ she said. “It seems that they (school board) have shifted this from what is an irresponsible individual to a problem with the system.’’
Heriazon says she and her husband plan to look at finding an alternate way to get their daughter home from school than on the bus. The driver in question only picks up Abbey after school. A different driver picks the girl up in the morning. Heriazon says she is quite comfortable with the morning bus driver.
I personally think this mom is way over reacting. This bus driver does an amazing job with his kids every year. But because her daughter was not paying attention when the driver called her name, it's the bus driver's fault? It's not like he dropped her off, all by herself in a completely different location. She was dropped off safe and sound, at home, an hour late.
What do you think? Should the driver have gone down the aisle to look for the little girl?
Should mom maybe have been waiting at the stop for her FOUR year old daughter?
Who really is to blame in all of this?