Local News

Bus Driver Drops Off 13-Year-Old At Unfamiliar Stop

Posted September 25, 2006 11:38 a.m. EDT

— One mile away from her home on busy Leesville Road in Raleigh is not where Edward Cleary expected to pick up his 13-year-old daughter after school on Friday.

But that is near where Cleary said she was left when the school bus driver realized she did not have written permission from her parents to be dropped off at her friend's house.

"She said the bus driver kicked her off the bus, and she needed a ride," Cleary said. "She was riding her own bus, but she was taking it beyond her normal stop."

Apparently, the driver dropped the Leesville Middle School student off at a different bus stop on the corner of Leesville Road and Wynalda Way. She then called her father on her mobile phone. He found her walking down a portion of Leesville Road where there was no shoulder.

"In this day and age, how do we drop a child on the side of the road like this to be left to their own devices?" Cleary said.

Transportation officials with the Wake County Public School System said Monday that they were unaware of the incident until WRAL contacted them, even though Cleary said he contacted the office and was never called back.

Officials said that although students are required to obtain written parental permission to get off at another stop, the driver made a bad decision and should have taken the child back to her assigned bus stop.

The incident is under investigation and the driver could face any sanction from a written reprimand to a new bus route, school officials said.

"I hope that this is the last bad decision the driver makes while responsible for our children," said Cleary, who only wants to make sure what happened to his daughter never happens again.

The outcome, he said, could have been much worse.