5-year-old inadvertently put on school bus in Sanford

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5-year-old JJ White says his teacher told him to ride the bus instead of being picked up by daycare.

For the second time in a week, parents say a child was put on a school bus from Ingram Elementary School in Sanford when he should have been picked up by daycare.

In the latest incident, a 5-year-old was left at a high school in the care of an administrator.

On August 24, an 8-year-old was left at his empty home and ended up walking to a convenience store to ask a clerk for help.

Click here to read more about that story

Monday, 5-year-old JJ White says his teacher told him to ride the bus instead of being picked up by daycare.

"And then I looked, I was on the bus, I looked on the back seat and didn't see my sisters," he said.

When the bus driver did not see JJ's parents waiting at the bus stop, the driver took him to a nearby high school where the bus was picked up another load of students. The driver handed JJ off to a school administrator who took him to the principal's office.

"I was just sitting there waiting for my momma and my dad," he said.

JJ's parents are not happy.

"Right now, their word is just that. Action is what is definitely going to take now to make - not just myself - but other parents feel secure about sending their kids to school," said Jamie White.

Lee County Schools issued the following statement on Monday's incident:

Our schools work very hard to accommodate parents' requests for change to their children's means of transportation. It is often challenging for our staff to keep up with numerous daily requests to alter afternoon arrangements.
The student involved in yesterday's incident was mistakenly put on a bus that he had ridden to his house on Friday. After no one met the child at his bus stop, the bus driver correctly followed procedure. The child was not allowed to exit the bus and was returned to the designated "supervisory school" before the driver continued her bus route. From the time he left his school to the time he was picked up by his father, the child was safe and constantly with a Lee County Schools staff member.
The incidents that occurred with our two elementary children are regrettable and we have repeatedly offered our sincere apologies to the families affected.
As we move forward, we are looking at potential modifications to our transportation change procedures to further ensure the safety of our children and help our staff manage those requests for change. While what we ultimately decide may inconvenience some of our families, the recent events have highlighted the need to strengthen our transportation procedures.


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