5-year-old dropped off at wrong bus stop, school district calls it first-day 'hiccups'
TAYLORSVILLE — Todd Loeffler waited for his 5-year-old daughter, Rylee, at her bus stop Monday, but she never made it home. It was her first day of kindergarten.
"All kinds of things went through my mind," he said. "Did somebody kidnap her? Did they throw her in the river? Is she dead? Is she alive?"
Rylee was crying when someone spotted her in a nearby mobile home park. The person recognized her address on a yellow piece of paper pinned to her shirt and called her apartment complex.
As it turned out,, Rylee's teacher at Plymouth Elementary School had put her on the wrong bus despite the yellow paper which identified her route. The driver Monday had only one stop, and it wasn't Rylee's.
"When you're transporting 12,000 kids, especially on the first day of school, there are bound to be a few hiccups here and there," said Ben Horsley, spokesman for the Granite School District.
In fact, another parent, who did not want to be identified, said the bus driver dropped her 5-year-old boy off at the same stop even after her son told him he didn't live there.
"There's a problem, let's fix it," Loeffler said. "It's happening on and on in every year. You've got a major problem."
Granite School District said the teacher made a mistake, something that can happen in the chaos that comes with the first day of school. Administrators said drivers are kept on the same route so they'll eventually become familiar with the students.
"The reality is, as much education as we provide to parents, and even to our own bus drivers, there's an element of human error on occasion," Horsley said.
That's not acceptable to Loeffler. "I don't want any parent to have to go through this again," he said.
Granite District administrators say they are reviewing the situation to see if any policy changes need to be made. They say parents should be familiar with the routes and make sure their kids know them, too.
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