Mom says bus driver left her child stranded on first day of school
BATON ROUGE - A bus mix-up on the first day of school, in East Baton Rouge Parish has a mom fuming.
Kayla Beatty said her nine-year-old son, who attends Claiborne Elementary, was put on the wrong bus not once, but twice. The first mistake was with the bus route, but on the second bus, the boy got on at the Greenwell Springs transfer station, and should have brought him home.
Instead, Beatty, says her son was told to get off the bus he was on. According to the mother, the young boy with special needs was just left in that parking lot by the school bus driver after his first day of school, but she wouldn't find that out until nearly 6:30 p.m. that night.
"I waited and I waited, no phone call from anybody,...still no child." Beatty said.
Finally after hours of waiting and looking, Beatty said her son's arrival brought a wave of relief. "Come 6 o'clock, here he comes through the door, as red as his maroon shirt, their uniform shirts. He's just sweating and out of breath." Beatty said.
Relieved at her son's appearance, but what the mother found out next had her infuriated.
"I asked him what happened, and he goes, 'I'd be home sooner if they didn't put me on the wrong bus, and then the bus driver let me off at the Home Depot, across Airline Highway.'" Beatty said.
According to Beatty, her son was dropped off in the Home Depot parking lot on Airline and Coursey Blvd.
Beatty said, according to the school transportation system, it happened after a bus mix-up,
when the boy was initially placed on the wrong bus.
He was then switched to another bus at the Greenwell Springs Transfer Station under the impression he'd be brought home.
However, the second bus didn't bring her son home either.
Once she heard her son's account of how he crossed Airline Highway by foot during rush hour, Beatty says she needed answers.
Beatty said she called the transportation systems line who said he's already safely arrived home, which her response was "and I explained to them, 'No, nobody got him home, he got himself home.'"
The 9-year-old told his mother he was left in the parking lot on the side of the Home Depot after the bus driver allegedly told him "she couldn't cross Airline, and he had to get off."
Instead, the young boy traveled by foot, a thought that scares the mother to even think about.
"They need to insure that the safety of the children is first and foremost, not bus routes. Bus routes can be fixed on the daily. A child's life cannot be brought back, if they're struck by a 60-mile-per-hour vehicle." Explained Beatty.
East Baton Rouge Schools issued this statement as of Friday.
"The East Baton Rouge Parish School System is currently investigating allegations reported on yesterday regarding a transportation issue. Pursuant to district policy and procedures, the employee was immediately placed on administrative leave pending an investigation."