A bus driver dropped off an autistic 9-year-old child at the wrong school in Fort Bend County, Texas, alarming the boy’s mother.
The boy, Ladarrion, stepped onto the bus headed to his school, Palmer Elementary, in Missouri City at about 7 a.m. on September 19, his mother Jacqueline Poole told Fox 26. But around noon, Poole received a call from the Assistant Director of Transportation who informed her Ladarrion was taken to Lantern Lane Elementary, which is located about two miles away from his school.
“I was scared. It affected me emotionally,” Poole said. “I was crying because my son doesn’t know how to talk. He’s been at a school. No one’s familiar with him…and you’re talking to me like this was ok.”
Fort Bend Independent School District confirmed the incident and said campus staff discovered the mistake within 10 minutes. The transportation department was notified, and the driver returned to bring the child him to the correct school.
“A driver mistakenly allowed a student to get off the bus at the wrong school. Within 10 minutes the mistake was discovered by campus staff who alerted the district’s Transportation Department,” a spokesperson for the district said in a statement to Fox 26. “The driver returned to the school, picked up the student and delivered him to the correct campus. The child was attended by a district staff member at all times during the incident.”
“We apologize for the error. We are now in the process of making a change to our system so that something like this does not happen again,” the spokesperson added.
Poole met with the transportation department later that evening but said she did not believe the incident was taken seriously.
“They didn’t make an incident report,” Poole told Fox 26. “You dropped a kid off at the wrong school, what do you mean? They said they don’t normally make an incident report for these circumstances.”
The district told Fox 26 that incident reports involving buses are primarily filed in the event of a fight, a car accident involving the bus or if a child becomes sick during the ride.
Poole and her friend April Duncan, who were both bus monitors for the district, criticized the drop-off process.
“There were two schools on that one route,” Duncan said. “I would have made sure who was who by calling transportation and getting a list from the supervisor or somebody before I released any student off the bus. Whatever title you carry, when you’re working in anybody’s school district, it’s a paper trail. It has to be a paper trail. That’s not fair for the students who can’t speak for themselves.”