School responds to Wake County bus mix-up

August 3, 2012 1:30:28 PM PDT
For the second time in less than a month, a six-year-old from Wilburn Elementary School was left alone on a street corner Thursday.

Ty Wright's father said the bus stop is at a busy intersection and something bad could have happened to his son. Wright's parents said his bus dropped him off where a stranger waited with him.

"I was wondering where my momma was at," said Ty.

"Furious and scared," said Ty's dad, Vernis Wright.

That was the reaction after the little boy's bus dropped him off at his bus stop alone. His mom, who waits at the stop every day, said Ty usually gets home around 4 p.m. but Thursday afternoon she waited 40 minutes.

"I was scared. I was really scared," said Ty's mother, Patricia Wright.

Patricia said they received two automated calls from the school. The first about 45 minutes into her wait saying the bus was behind and another about 20 minutes later.

"I had knew somebody was going to come pick me up," said Ty. "So, I waited and waited and waited."

They estimated that the bus dropped off Ty several minutes before the school's last message, because his aunt saw him, before then, waiting with a stranger.

"This lady, said she was going down the street and just saw this little boy standing on the corner, looked out of place, looked like he was afraid," said Vernis. "She turned around and came back and just parked her car and waited for somebody to come pick him up."

About three weeks ago, Wilburn Elementary had a mix-up with another first-grader.

After that incident, Wake School officials told ABC11 that their buses don't drop off kindergarteners or first graders without a parent or guardian waiting.

"I would like to see Wake County be more responsible," said Vernis.

Wake County Schools responded with this statement: "Student safety is always our first priority in school and on the bus. Our practice is not to drop off any kindergarten or first grade students at a bus stop by themselves, and our bus drivers are trained accordingly. The driver in this case was substituting on the route Thursday. The driver has been placed on non-driving duties pending an investigation by WCPSS transportation staff."

A spokesperson for the school district also said Ty Wright should never have been dropped off alone Thursday. Wake Schools has since called and apologized to his parents.

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