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First-grader dropped off at wrong bus stop

Posted September 8, 2008
Updated September 9, 2008

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— A Wake County parent says her first-grader was dropped off at the wrong bus stop one day last week. It is the latest in a string of similar complaints filed by parents of young bus riders.

Porsha Garrett said that for more than 30 minutes Thursday, no one knew where her son, Omarion, was.

"I was kinda scared,” Omarion Garrett said.

Garrett said it all began when she went to pick up Omarion at his bus stop Thursday after his first day of school at Stough Elementary on Edwards Mill Road in Raleigh.

“My son isn't here. I am waiting. I am standing. I am standing. I am waiting,” Garrett recalled.

Garrett called Stough Elementary and said she was told school officials did not know where Omarion was either.

"Oh my God, I have never been so scared in all my life,” she said.

More than 30 minutes later, a stranger called and said he had Omarion and that the 6-year-old was safe. Garrett said Omarion had been dropped off at a bus stop further down the road and wandered about alone until the stranger found him.

“He was very upset. He was shaking. He was, 'Momma, oh momma, I am glad that you got me,'” she said.

Garrett said an identification card Omarion's school uses helped find her son. All Wake County kindergartners and first-graders got an identification card on the first day of school this year. It has the school's name, student's name, bus stop location and route printed on it.

The ID badges were designed to help reduce confusion, which can occur with almost 900 school buses making 25,000 stops to pick up nearly 70,000 students. In nearly all of those stops, parents say bus drivers get their children to school and back home safely.

“I can almost set my watch by her (bus driver),” parent Amy Youngquist said.

However, if your child is suddenly nowhere to be found, Garrett said, it can be hard to trust the system again.

"The first day I sent my son to school, I don't even know if he is going to come back,” Garrett said.

Omarion isn't the first student to report being left at the wrong bus stop. There were two incidents over the summer with year-round students. A 5-year-old was dropped off at a bus stop miles from home, and a 6-year-old was dropped off at the wrong time – also far from his home.

One bus driver resigned and the other was disciplined. In response to the incidents, every bus driver attended a training session over the summer. It re-emphasized the procedures and practices for picking-up and dropping-off students.

School officials said they are investigating Omarion's incident.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • mom2threecld Sep 10, 2008

    i don't see where in the story the bus passed her by, it says she was waiting for her son. either way, i am glad this young boy was ok and not harmed in anyway. i am sure him mom was feeling a little panic. wcpss isn't the best in the world anyway

  • whatusay Sep 10, 2008

    zanerx...the article says he was dropped off at another stop down the road. Also if she were there when the bus arrived, she would have seen the bus and retreived her son. You have to be able to read between the lines and interpret some things.

  • daycock Sep 10, 2008

    skewlteachrmommy - I never said anyone was at fault. This is more of an "attention" getting article to get people stired up over something that has happen before. Either in Wake Co, NC or any other state.

  • zanerx Sep 9, 2008

    I don't know what article you folks are reading, but there is nothing in this article that states that the mother was not at the stop when the bus arrived, or that he was dropped off at the next stop. Quit assuming things just to blame the mother! Gee - I wonder why so many of you are doing that ...

  • manofjustice Sep 9, 2008

    I think that kindergarteners and 1st graders need cell phones. They also need phones on buses so the parents can call the bus drivers and find out what happened to their children. If they put the child on the wrong stop they should be fired until they learn their errors.

  • whatusay Sep 9, 2008

    skewiteachrmommy.....evidently you didn't read the article...
    If she were at the stop where her son was supposed to get off everything would be ok...However, she was not there when the bus arrived...either way, her son was along whether at that stop, or the next. Was her son supposed to sit on the corner until she arrived...maybe he thought that because she was not there he was not supposed to get off there.

  • SGR Sep 9, 2008

    Are you people serious..... The mothers fault..... Whatever! Everyone wants to blame the parents. Sounds to me like an honest mistake. Very scary for everyone involved but nonetheless an accident. Poor mother and son. I hope nothing like this ever happens to them again.

  • familyfour Sep 9, 2008

    Exactly....she should have been there when the bus came by, not the thrity minutes afterwards. When you put your child on a bus, you still have the responsibility to make sure your child, and yourself, know where, and when, and what to do if something goes wrong, because the sad truth is, you can't trust many people with the safety of your child, even when it's their JOB. (Yes, I think the bus driver has fault here, too.) Mom and child are sure fortunate that he ended up in good hands. This could have been another horror story.

  • skewlteachrmommy Sep 9, 2008

    daycock and whatusay-

    Wake County Schools are so bureacratic it's pathetic. It is NOT the parents fault. As a school teacher, we ensure the children are on the bus they are supposed to be on. The bus driver is responsible for taking them to the right place. How can it be the parent's fault if the child is taken to the WRONG bus
    stop. DUH! Just another reason why I'll never work in Wake County again! By the way-it was his first day of school and first day on the bus. And for you people who blame the child if you pay attention to sub-divisions, most of them are cookie cutters of each other. Do you want a CHILD wandering around by himself looking at all the houses (i.e.-Cary)

  • daycock Sep 9, 2008

    Uh huh...
    -Child dropped off at wrong stop. (or got off at wrong stop)
    -Mother looks for child
    -Child was found by a stranger
    -Child now at home

    Wow, such a great article. I'm sure more news worthy things happen today than this.

    But I guess since it involes a child, that makes it a COMPLETLY different situation?