SANFORD, NC (WTVD) --Tyrone Bell says his son's first day of school at Ingram Elementary School in Sanford Monday ended horribly.
"TJ is not where he is supposed to be. My mind went blank, went into panic," Bell recalled. "I was thinking somebody grabbed my son or my son got hit by a car."
Bell said his 8-year-old third grader was told to get on a school bus even though he told his teachers they were wrong.
"I am a car rider. I'm not supposed to be on the bus," TJ said he told school officials.
TJ said he told the school bus driver he couldn't go home because there was no one there.
"I came up front and said 'Nobody is at home,' she said 'Go sit back down.' Then she said 'Go sit on the porch,' and I was scared," said TJ.
So scared that TJ tried to walk back to school but got lost and wandered into a convenience store upset and crying.
"More scared than frustrated because he didn't want to go anywhere, and he did not want to get hurt. He didn't want to go anywhere. I just had him come and sit with me," said store clerk Shantika Morrison.
Morrison had a friend who called TJ's dad, and he came and picked up his son.
TJ's mom told us she previously filed paperwork and even reminded her son's teachers that he was to be picked up by an after-school daycare. She said she's angry that the school put her son's safety at risk.
"He told four teachers and nobody took the time. They just ignored him. They didn't check the paperwork," said Tacosha Jennings.
She's said she's thankful TJ is safe. Bell said he doesn't want an apology from the school. He wants a promise.
"Just don't let this happen to nobody else's kids, and don't let this happen again!" he said.
The school district said it began a review of the incident at the school level as soon as it was reported by TJ's mother.
"At this point, we have spoken with all staff involved and are reviewing the incident closely to determine where the miscommunication occurred," it said.
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