ELYRIA, Ohio (WJW) – Elyria City School officials are investigating after a 5-year-old Kindergarten student was dropped off at the wrong bus stop and found wandering the streets about a mile and a half from his home.
“The bus arrived and he wasn’t there,” said Cierra Barrios, Legend’s mother. “My heart just sank.”
Barrios said the incident happened Thursday afternoon, which was Legend’s first day at Hamilton Elementary School.
“The bus driver couldn’t tell me where he was at or what bus he was on,” Barrios said “ Everyone just kind of looked lost. The bus driver just looked at me as they were on the radio trying to find him.”
She said she contacted First Student, the company that handles the buses for Elyria Schools, as well as the school principal.
“The principal told me he was put on the right bus,” Barrios said “I called his dad and his grandmother. They were both helping me look for him. We were frantic. I also put a post on Facebook. A short time later I got a call from someone on Facebook that thought they saw him.”
She said Legend was found walking about a mile and half away from their home.
“He was found on 15th Street and I was waiting for him at his bus stop on 18th Street,” Barrios said.
School officials say they are “sincerely grateful for the safety of the student and regret that this situation happened.”
The FOX 8 I-Team went to First Student Friday to ask officials about the incident. A woman locked the door and refused to answer questions. Another employee gave us a phone number for a company spokesperson. We called and left a message.
Then, Friday evening, First Student responded with the following statement:
“We understand the parent’s concern and want to reassure the family that there is nothing more important than the safety of the children we transport. We, too, are upset about what happened and are thankful the student is okay.
As soon as we learned about the incident, we began conducting an internal review. The bus driver and bus monitor did not follow proper safety protocols. They have been suspended from service.”
“I just want to make sure they do something about this so it doesn’t happen again,” Barrios said. “It should have never happened.”