Garner student kicked off bus, walks home

April 22, 2008 4:50:34 AM PDT
Wake County school leaders are apologizing for allowing a student to walk home three-miles.It happened last week when an eighth grader at East Garner Middle School was kicked off his school bus and couldn't find a ride home.

O'Shay Bryant tells Eyewitness News that his priority everyday after school is beating his younger brother home so he can let him in. That was a problem last week when the 14-year-old says his bus driver kicked him off the school bus for fighting.

While he denies the allegations, he accepted the punishment.

Bryant says the driver gave him a slip of paper and said, "You're off the bus for five days." "The assistant principal, twice at the school, said go find a ride home," Bryant said.

When he went back into the school he says he couldn't reach his mom on her cell phone or at home and couldn't remember her work number. "I told my teacher that I had to beat my brother home so I could let him in the house," Bryant told Eyewitness News. "Then she was like, 'how are you going to get home?' And I said that I was going to have to walk. She said, 'well is it walking distance?' And I told her, 'no.'"

School leaders say Bryant indicated that he lived closer but they admit to Eyewitness News that a teacher should not have let him walk.

His mother, Garica McNeil, was concerned for his safety. "He walked across a railroad track on Jones Sausage Road. He crossed over Highway 70 and White Oak Road where two people unfortunately just lost their lives recently and he came down this long road with no side walks. It's a terrifying situation. Anything could've happened to my son."

"I was very scared," Bryant said.

Scared of the cars, people and pets, he picked up two sticks to protect himself.

McNeil feels her son is the school's property and their responsibility until he gets home. "He could've easily been killed, kidnapped, raped, murdered, hit by a car, I could not have my child today. And I feel like it was as simple as pulling out this emergency contact list and contacting me."

McNeil says her work number is listed on his emergency contact card. During a meeting Monday, she says the principal and area superintendent apologized that that procedure was overlooked. They told her it wouldn't happen again.

O'Shay is no longer suspended from the bus and was able to ride it home Monday afternoon.


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