The joy of the first day of kindergarten turned frightening Monday when a Phenix City mother learned her 5-year-old son was dropped off the afternoon bus at the wrong time and crossed a busy street alone.
Amber Peterson posted this on her Facebook page:
“I can't stop freaking out!!! My stomach is in knots I can't think straight! The school lost my son!!! 1st day of kindergarten and they let my 5 year old on the WRONG bus and let him off at some RANDOM bus stop!!! While he's walking around alone and crossing a busy street ALONE a lady took him to her apartment in riverview and called the school!!! I had to pick my son up on his 1st day of kindergarten from riverview apartments from a stranger!!! How the hell does this happen!!! Bus drivers are supposed to take kids back to school not let them off for God knows what to happen!! Yes I made a police report and yes I went straight to the board of ed. Thank u GOD for the sweet lady who took my son home and called the school and now my 9 year old gets off the bus crying bc his brother wasn't on the bus and he was lost and he cried the whole ride home!!!!!!!
The Ledger-Enquirer hasn’t reached Peterson for comment, but Phenix City Schools superintendent Randy Wilkes confirmed the essence of her account.
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“Investigating it now,” Wilkes told the L-E in an email Monday evening. “Seems accurate at this point. I am trying to reach mother to apologize and determine the rest of the story. Spoke with the principal to ensure it does not happen again.”
The kindergartner attends Phenix City Elementary School, Wilkes said.
Tuesday afternoon, Wilkes told the L-E in a phone interview that the student’s teacher put the kindergartner on the right bus but the wrong route to Riverview Apartments.
“He should have been on the second run,” Wilkes said. “That bus on the first route drops off every kid at one stop then comes back to the school to get more kids.”
Wilkes added, “We all have the responsibility to make sure students get on the right bus.”
Asked whether any disciplinary action was taken against any faculty or staff because of this incident, Wilkes wouldn’t answer directly but said, “We stepped up our game today to make sure it won’t happen again. … It’s a very serious situation. That’s people’s heart and soul there. They entrust you with their kids.”