Mother says 5-year-old was put on wrong bus, left alone in neighborhood

Posted March 14

— A Wake County mother is furious and wants answers after she said her young daughter was placed on the wrong bus and left to wander the neighborhood Tuesday.

Britney Brown said she is still trying to figure out why her 5-year-old daughter, Maliya, was placed on the wrong bus. She said she just happened to find out about the mistake while corresponding with the child’s teacher about school pictures via email.

Brown said her daughter attends Wakefield Elementary School and is supposed to ride the bus to an after-school care facility.

Tuesday, while Brown was emailing her daughter’s teacher, she said she was told Maliya was placed on a different bus route that drops her off in her neighborhood.

Brown said she left work and immediately called police, telling them the location where her daughter would be dropped off because she knew she would not be able to make it there in time.

Brown said she is angry when she thinks about what could have happened and wants an explanation.

“Someone could’ve took her and it does not need to happen again. The rules need to be stricter, the bus drivers need to be taking accountability, especially for the younger kids getting off the bus because next time it could be a very unfortunate situation,” Brown said.

Brown said she ended up picking up her daughter from the police station, thanks to the phone call she made.

Wake County School spokeswoman Lisa Luten released the following statement in response to the incident:

“We are aware that a student from Wakefield Elementary School rode the bus home and was dropped off without a parent present at the bus stop. We require that parents notify the school if changes are made in their child's transportation plans. In this case, the parent did not notify the school that their child's transportation plans had changed. The child was released at a bus stop with other children and adults, but not in the care of her parent. We are reviewing the incident and will reiterate the appropriate protocol to all parties involved to ensure the safety of our students. “


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  • Edward Anderson Mar 15, 2017
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    The way I read the article is that the mother did not change anything; the child has always boarded the bus to the after-school care but that for some unknown reason, somebody put her on a bus that would drop her off somewhere else (at or near her home?) instead.

  • Larry Price Mar 15, 2017
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    I'm still not clear whether the 'wrong bus' is the bus that her child has been riding home on all year. Sounds like the mom may have made a request to change her daughters' bus assignment to go to an after school care facility, but the request wasn't processed. So the girl gets on the same bus she has always ridden on and the bus driver drops her off at her usual spot. It's hard to say, based on the info in the article...

  • Catherine Edwards Mar 15, 2017
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    "... she said she was told Maliya was placed on a different bus route that drops her off in her neighborhood."
    "In this case, the parent did not notify the school that their child's transportation plans had changed."

    These 2 sentences contradict each other. I believe the first one. Someone at the school knew what bus she was supposed to be on, and she wasn't put on it.

  • James Grimes Jr. Mar 15, 2017
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    Exactly. I guess it's going to take something happening to a child, and/or a criminal charges against staff members, for changes to happen.

  • Joseph Parker Mar 15, 2017
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    Spokesperson's statement is nonsensical- the parent didn't change the transportation plans for her child. Her child was put on the wrong bus.

  • Mary James Mar 15, 2017
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    This happened to me with my son last year. They put him on the wrong bus & then let me know after the fact. They like to blame the parents instead of their own ineptitude.