Posted: May 20, 2014 4:27 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: May 20, 2014 6:53 PM
BATON ROUGE- A family is demanding answers after their child was allowed to get off the bus at a stop nearly four miles away from home. The East Baton Rouge Parish School System has launched an investigation and is not ruling out disciplinary action for the driver.
The fifth grader was missing for two hours Friday when a man called the family saying he had their daughter.
The child attends the Baton Rouge Center for Visual Performing Arts off of South Acadian. The father wants answers from the school system.
"I think they dropped the ball, and it's a huge huge mistake," Lee McCurley said.
The child was allowed to get off the bus in the Wedgewood Subdivision. That's nearly four miles away from her actual bus stop.
"The bus driver had no idea where to bring anyone," McCurley said. "So we were told the kids on the bus were guiding her, directing her."
Residents like Maria Foster are worried the same thing could happen to their kids.
"This can't happen again," Maria Foster said. "It just can't. Our kids are precious."
McCurley claims when he called EBR Transportation leaders, he received a cold reception and a nonchalant attitude on the phone.
"I was told my problem wasn't as important as I thought it was," McCurley said. "The person I was trying to get in touch with had more important matters to deal with."
So, we took those concerns to the school system. A spokesman claims the child asked to get off the bus.
"I don't know what really happened," EBR Spokesman Keith Bromery said. "I only know what people say, and in this instance, the substitute driver says the child said this is where she got off on Friday."
McCurley contends his daughter has never been in that subdivision before. He also says his daughter has never walked off the bus at a stop other than her own.
"There needs to be accountability," McCurley said. "There needs to be someone who steps up and says this was a problem. We own it. We'll fix it. It will never happen again."
Bromery said a decision on discipline will be made when the investigation wraps up.