Four year old misses bus stop..

Charlene - posted on 10/15/2010 ( 48 moms have responded )

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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.

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/...

Opinions?

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?

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Krista - posted on 10/16/2010

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That's a good idea, April -- especially for elementary school. The driver has quite enough to focus on, navigating that big bus in traffic and making sure that the kids are being safe. A bus aide would be a huge help, and you could probably even get volunteers to do it.

Charlene - posted on 10/15/2010

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The thing is Kati, this guy has been driving for 15 years and this is the first time that he's had a complaint from any parent and now this woman is calling for him to be fired.... I don't think it's fair to run this man's good name through the mud because of one mistake.

Jodi - posted on 10/15/2010

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Wow, I've missed getting off at my stop before when I was a kid and nobody threw a shit fit about it! Kids fall asleep, zone out the window, daydream and forget to speak up, meanwhile, the bus driver has 50 other kids to keep an eye on. If the mom was really waiting for the bus, she should have said something when her kid didn't step off. I'm sure the bus driver didn't do a rolling stop! lol
She's over reacting, big time, but some moms must not have anything better to do as I hear crap like this a lot. Nobody is to blame, it happens.

Lindsay - posted on 10/18/2010

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If the mother was outside, this could have all been avoided. She honestly has no one to blame but herself.

Now I will say that I am one of those horrible mother that lets her 5 and 4 yr old ride the bus. It was not something I was too keen on last year and opted out of taking the bus to PreK. I took and picked them up myself each day and each day they begged to ride the bus with the other kids. It wasn't an option last year because they were half-day students and were in the morning class and on the afternoon bus route. This year, I decided to let them ride. My 4 yr old is still in PreK and only rides with kids in PreK and there is a bus aide. There is a hand to hand transfer. I walk him to the aide, she takes his hand and helps him on the bus. Then when being dropped off back at home, he will not get off the bus until I am at the bus for another hand to hand transfer. My daughter is Kindergarten and rides with kids ages k-5th grade. They also have an aide and sit on the bus according to grade. Kindergarten takes the front few seats, then 1st, then 2nd grade, etc. While they don't require hand to hand on her, she will not be let off the bus if I am not outside and visible to the bus driver. This is a system that works well and leave little room for the type of mix ups like in the OP. I'd be more concerned about them letting a 4 yr old off the bus without seeing the mother present.

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48 Comments

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Sherri - posted on 10/18/2010

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Our kids start riding the bus in Kindergarten 1 way either to school if they are in the morning program or from if they are in the afternoon program (K is only 2 1/2hrs here) They have to sit in the first few seats. Our elementary schools here go K-4.

[deleted account]

Lindsay, I don't think you're a horrible mother either. If there were a system like that, or like the one in Liz's area, then I wouldn't mind my boys riding the bus either. As long as it's a hand off type system, then the responsibility is still in the parent's hands... which it should be!

[deleted account]

My oldest has been riding the bus since she was 4 years old and I have never had a problem. Right now I pick up all my kids but I live 2 blocks from the school in a very small town. When she was in head start all the kids had to be signed in and out when getting on or off the bus. Now my oldest rides the bus to her dads on his week.
This kids mom was just too lazy to walk her happy ass to the bus stop.

Dana - posted on 10/18/2010

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Yes, Lindsay, it sounds like they have a good system going, I wouldn't mind my child riding a bus if it went that way.

Bonnie - posted on 10/18/2010

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Lindsay, I just wanted to point out that this doesn't make you a horrible mother. It sounds like your children's school has a fairly good system going and overall that does make it a bit easier to digest.

Bonnie - posted on 10/18/2010

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The funny thing is that there are actually a number of kids in his class and in the other junior kindergarten class who do take the bus to and from school. I know some parents don't have a choice because they only have one vehicle or both parents work. It would just worry the hell out of me that he would be on that bus with kids up to 14 years old. The bus driver has to juggle concentrating on driving, traffic, and letting kids on and off at the proper stops.

[deleted account]

Bonnie, That is what makes sense to me. While I do understand that some kids are just "mature" enough at 4 to be on a bus, that doesn't mean they should be on the bus. I wouldn't feel comfortable with it either even if it was an option, and I have a son who's nearly 4 and a Mr. Independent. He would be able capable, but who's to say there wouldn't be a bigger kid there who would want to pick on him or worse.

At the very least, this mother should have been at the bus stop.

Bonnie - posted on 10/17/2010

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Donna, Where I am they have kids of all ages riding the bus, including those who are 3 and 4 years old. I don't care for the idea. Luckily I am able to drive my son who is almost 4 to and from school on his scheduled days and the drive is only a few minutes away as well. It makes me feel a lot better.

[deleted account]

I'm stunned that a 4 year old was on a school bus to begin with. Is it customary for such young kids to be on the bus, or is her mother just lazy? As far as I know in Australia they don't bus kids that young. Most start at grade 4.

Dana - posted on 10/17/2010

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I think it sucks that it happened but, people make mistakes, especially when he only drops kids off and doesn't pick them up in the morning. What can you do. I also think the mother should be at the stop, if she was then he would have surely known her child was on the bus.

Amie - posted on 10/17/2010

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I think you misunderstand me. There's three different buses that run from my childrens school.



The teacher on duty changes each day, it's a rotating schedule just like their lunch, recess, cross guard duty is. Each day the teacher checks to make sure who needs to be on that bus is there, then walk them out and take them to the bus. Which is when they talk to the bus drivers. Our bus students are let out ahead of time to line up but their leave time is the same as the rest of the students.



There are two times the teacher is involved every day One is with the kindergarten students (pre-k does not ride the bus). Their teacher walks them to the gym (which is where all the bus students meet and line up) and hands them over to the bus duty teacher. Two is with any special needs students we have, no matter their age. Every classroom has at least two EA's in it as well, so if the teacher really needs to stay the EA takes them instead.

Charlene - posted on 10/17/2010

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Amie, I get what you are saying, but we have a different system here. The majority of elementary schools have two separate release times. One for the bus students and another one for the walking students ten minutes later, when all the buses have left.
There are three or four teachers outside during the bus release, usually the principal, vice-principal, resource teachers and/or the TA's, but the only way it would be a child's actual teacher, would be if that teacher's whole class was bus students. They just find it safer for the walking kids to do it this way.

Kate CP - posted on 10/16/2010

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And another reason I don't send my daughter to public school: I don't like buses. However, I think the mom here is seriously overreacting and needs to take a pill.

Sherri - posted on 10/16/2010

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My youngest will be starting kindergarten next fall and he will take the school bus. My oldest 2 started taking the bus in 1st grade. I have never had a problem with kids taking the bus. It is something they look forward to for so many years. So I think it is a right of passage when it is time to go to the big school.

Bonnie - posted on 10/16/2010

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Jennifer and Charlene, I feel the same way. My older son just started kindergarten this year and I don't care how much supervision there is on the bus or getting on and getting off the bus. I don't feel comfortable with him going on the bus and he will be driven to and from school until he is older.

Amie - posted on 10/16/2010

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Sherri,



Read farther and you'll see what I mean in my reply about the school being at fault. The bus drivers job is to know every student on that bus, it is their job to make sure they know who is there and who is not. The teachers aid in that knowledge by letting the bus drivers here know who is there and who is not. Less confusion, less mishaps.



I still think the mom is over reacting though. No need to pull her right off the bus.



Our oldest took a bus to school for 2 years. She was never forgotten or over looked. She had a different one taking her to school than the one dropping her off. The bus driver always knew when she was there and when she wasn't because of this set up.

Krista - posted on 10/16/2010

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Yeah, I agree with you, Charlene. I wouldn't feel comfortable having my four-year-old riding the bus with 12 and 13-year olds. What if he gets picked on? The bus drivers can't have eyes in the back of their heads every waking second -- they have to focus on the road.

I started taking the bus when I was about 8 or 9, which isn't bad.

Tara - posted on 10/16/2010

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I think mom is over reacting by suggesting that she will not let her daughter ride home on the bus with this driver. I would be pissed off for sure but I would treat it as an isolated incident and assume it would never happen again.
I know a kid whose parents left for work about 5 minutes before his bus came to get him. So they would leave him outside by the mail box (he was 6) and he would get the bus. His dad later built a little shelter for him to sit in. Anyhow, one day it was raining so he went down the driveway a little bit and stood under the overhang of the garage while he waited. The bus driver was a substitute driver and didn't even slow to look for the kid. Anyhow he missed the bus, was locked out of the house, had not neighbours near by and mom and dad were not happy at all.
He spent the day in the garage until 2 pm when his mom came home from work sick.
There was some shit to pay but in the end, it was the kids fault. He should have been where he was supposed to be. And in the OP the kid should have been paying attention.
Tara

[deleted account]

Yeah =] Most children here who get buses to school don't tend to start getting them by themselves until they are at least 10 or 11. I know I was 11 when I started getting the bus with my sister to and from Secondary school and even then I was anxious for then following year as I'd then be doing it alone, as my sister would be finsihed school!

Charlene - posted on 10/16/2010

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I'm the same.. Haha.
Gracie will be driven to and from school until I think she's mature enough for it.

[deleted account]

I know it's all about what's normal in your area, but for me I'd never feel comfortable with my child going on a bus at that age, unless there were teachers supervising the children.

Charlene - posted on 10/16/2010

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Jennifer.. In our province, all the schools use school buses, from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Kindergarten is now mandatory and they are integrated with the elementary schools, so it's pretty common now for four/five year olds to be on a bus. There are still quite a few parents who drive their children, though.

[deleted account]

TBH I know things are done differently in the US but here in the UK I'd be very shocked if any parent let a 4 year old on a bus by themselves whether it was a school bus or not. Here the schools which have scholars buses are usually just secondary schools, so the children are ages 11-16. It wasn't anyones fault, it was a mistake made by a four year old...

Sherri - posted on 10/16/2010

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Yes you said how they do it in your district but you also asked a question:

The school is also to blame. Do they not walk out the young kids (here they do it in elementary) to the school bus to make sure they are getting on it?

So I simply stated how the districts do it around my area. I know for ours, plus 3 surrounding towns as I do pick ups for kids.

April - posted on 10/16/2010

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mom is overreacting. it was no one's fault. the little girl wasn't paying attention, but she's only 4. the bus driver did do his part by asking if she was on the bus. i think there should be a bus aide on every single bus. there should be a law that for every X amount of kids, there needs to be an adult present.

Amie - posted on 10/16/2010

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Sherri,
I explained how it's done in my kids school district. It's done that way so things like this don't happen.

Rosie - posted on 10/16/2010

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i don't think he should be fired either. i definitely think she's over reacting, but she has every right to be pissed. yes, he made a mistake, and it shouldn't be anything to get fired over and everything was resolved. still doesn't mean she shouldn't be pissed.

Sherri - posted on 10/16/2010

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How is the school to blame they put her on the correct bus. No I have never heard of giving a bus driver a list of who was absent for the day they simply line the kids up in the correct line for there bus and the kids get on. There is the entire elementary school getting on the bus at the end of the day. So that is around 70 kids getting on the bus at that time.

Amie - posted on 10/16/2010

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All are a bit to blame. I don't know how he missed her getting on the bus unless he was one of the, very few, bus drivers I've seen how don't pay attention. Instead are standing around outside chatting it up with other, inattentive, drivers. I will admit too, these I mostly see at the high schools so that is different.



The mom should have been at that bus stop. The child is 4 years old! They don't even let them off the buses here at that age unless a parent or other adult (that they know) is there.



The school is also to blame. Do they not walk out the young kids (here they do it in elementary) to the school bus to make sure they are getting on it? There's a teacher assigned to each bus, they line the kids up inside and then walk them to the bus. If any are missing or not there that day, they tell the bus driver.



I wouldn't pull my kid off the bus for this but I would make it known better procedures need to be put in place. Ridiculous.

Becky - posted on 10/16/2010

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Yeah, calling for him to be fired is ridiculous. Yes, I'd be freaked out if my child didn't get off the bus, but she was safe, and they let mom know within 10 minutes that she was on the bus. I can see mom having this reaction if he'd let her off at the wrong stop or something.

Sherri - posted on 10/15/2010

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Mom is WAY overreacting!! It happened with my son when he fell asleep and they simply came back and dropped him off. They have 80 kids on the bus they are supposed to know which kids went to school that day and which didn't PLEASE!!

[deleted account]

The girl should have been paying attention. If she was sitting right behind the driver she should have been able to hear him calling for her. The mom is over-reacting and yes, she should be outside waiting for her child when she is dropped off, regardless of whether or not the bus stop is right outside her front door. Seems to me like the bus driver was just doing his duty. If I were in the girl's situation and did not react when the driver called my name and in turn missed my stop (my little brother has done this, actually) then it would be my fault and my mother would not get so upset. At least the girl wasn't kidnapped off the bus or dropped off in a different location, like Charlene said. Had that happened, the mother would have reason to be so upset. But this is ridiculous.

Krista - posted on 10/15/2010

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Yeah, where the bus driver has a spotless record and a good reputation, and the mother is calling for him to be fired, when there was absolutely no harm done to her child? And now she's bitching about having to find another way to bring her kid to school?

She's being a bitch.

You want I should slap her the next time I'm heading through Cornwall?

Kim - posted on 10/15/2010

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I think the Mother was over reacting especially if she was not there at the stop to get her 4 yr old!! I have to be there to get my 8 yr old! I was upset one day because I was waiting for the bus and saw it go by the other way, turn around and go to the stop before mine, then mine. The school let the kids out 15 mins early with NO WARNING! no one was at mine or the bus stop before because it was early so the driver drove back around for our under age kids(K-2nd need an adult to meet them)! But I was getting worried because it was so late!! Kids fall asleep on the bus and miss their stop all the time. If a parent or someone is waiting then the driver knows the child should be on the bus and will check for them.

Rosie - posted on 10/15/2010

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you would assume, but that doesn't always happen, lol! my kids busdriver did that to me, just dropped all the kids off, and grant stayed on, and he just started driving away. he stopped after i chased the bus for a couple blocks, lol!!

[deleted account]

Kati- She is 4 but if a mother is standing at the bus stop and you don't see her child on the bus I would assume he would have stopped because if moms right there and kids not thats a problem. I'm assuming she was watching out her window or something. When I was 5 I did the same thing and my mom simply jumped in the car and got me off the bus at the next stop.

Rosie - posted on 10/15/2010

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i don't know. i think she is overreacting a bit, but i would be pissed too. and where (i didn't read the article, so it may be in there) did it say she wasn't there waiting for her. from what was posted it said she watched the bus drive on by, which means to me that she was there.
i get that she shouldve said something, but come on-she's FOUR. it's his responsibility.

[deleted account]

I agree w/ everyone. She's overreacting. Though I can understand her momentary panic... she knew w/in 10 minutes that her daughter was fine and would be dropped off soon.

Sharon - posted on 10/15/2010

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The mom is over reacting.

Its happened here. No big deal. I got in my car, called the school on my cell and met them at the next bus stop.

I DID lose my fucking mind when another bus driver took my son and his friend and put them off at a strange bus stop with no adults in sight. They told him it wasn't their stop and because the friend had a name similar to another kid, the driver insisted that they had to get off there. REGARDLESS kindergartners are NEVER let off without an adult they vouch for.

[deleted account]

I agree the mom is overreacting. Sure, I would be frightened if my daughter wasn't dropped off on time, but after a call to the school to confirm her location and her arrival time, I would be alright. I don't envy the job of a bus driver. Give the guy a break.

Krista - posted on 10/15/2010

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I think the mom was really overreacting as well. That driver is dealing with a bus full of kids and watching for traffic, and I don't think it's unreasonable that he might not have remembered seeing Abbey get on the bus. And he DID ask if she was on, and she didn't speak up and the other kids said she wasn't on. I feel bad for the bus driver -- I don't think he was at all negligent and I think that the mother is being kind of unreasonable.



And really, why would the mother not have been waiting at the bus stop for her kid? She's only four.



It looks like most of the people in the comments agree that the mother is just taking it way too far.

Bonnie - posted on 10/15/2010

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I think the mother was probably over reacting a little bit. I mean her daughter is only 4 years old, but at least she got home safe in the end and only had to wait 10 minutes to find out her daughter was truly on the bus. I think it could have been a lot worse if it had taken longer for the mother to find this out. I wouldn't go as far as saying that the driver SHOULD have gone done the aisle looking for her. I mean if he called out for her and she didn't answer or stand up, it's not really his fault. Why the kids on the bus said no she isn't on the bus, who knows, kids are funny that way or maybe they didn't notice her either. When she got on the bus, maybe the driver was talking to a student and she slipped right by them. Four year olds are usually small they can easily go unnoticed. I have a 4 year old. He doesn't take the bus. I take him to and from school on his scheduled days. If he was taking the bus though I would definately be outside waiting for him to get off the bus. Perhaps if the mother was waiting outside, none of this would have happened because if anything, she could have gotten on the bus knowing her daughter should be there.

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