Bus driver terminated after abandoning kids 8 blocks from their home
Updated On: Sep 04 2013 06:37:35 PM CDT
A Houston-area mother wants answers after she says a school bus driver dropped her children off at the wrong bus stop and a police officer found them wandering through a neighborhood, eight blocks away from home.
Clear Creek ISD said they take child safety very seriously and they immediately placed that driver on administrative leave after hearing about the incident. On Wednesday, that driver is no longer with the district.
Kristin Janks says she called her girls' school several times after they still hadn't arrived a half hour after they were expected home Tuesday afternoon. She says she was told the bus was running late, but then at 5:15pm, a sheriff's deputy arrived at her home.
"Immediately panicked. I don't even remember running to the police car. I pulled his door open, I said, 'Is everything OK?' and when he asked me if do I have two little girls, it was one of the scariest moments of my life," said Janks. "I didn't know what to think or what had happened."
Janks says the girls -- ages 5 and 7 -- had been found wandering eight blocks away from home, where they flagged down an officer passing by. She says they were hot and thirsty, and told her a bus driver just dropped them off when she couldn't find their home.
"He took us to the girls and they were hot and sweating and their faces were purple from being out in the heat," Janks said.
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Clear Creek ISD said the bus driver was immediately placed on administrative leave after the mother contacted the district, and then terminated after an investigation.
"We take the safety of our students very seriously and that commitment to our parents extends beyond the classroom doors. It extends beyond -- it's transportation, it's making sure that they get to school safely. And we regret that this occurred," said Elaina Polsen with Clear Creek ISD.
Following this incident, the district said they will also work to communicate better with parents about who to contact if their child's bus is running late. We're told you should first contact the school and then the bus barn or even 9-1-1. After all, we are talking about your child's safety.
Clear Creek ISD said district policy requires that children in pre-K or Kindergarten have a parent present when they're dropped off from school; that's unless they have written permission from a parent stating otherwise.