Local News

Bump, Blood Mark Boy's 1st School Bus Ride

Posted September 6, 2007 10:46 p.m. EDT
Updated September 6, 2007 11:07 p.m. EDT

— With 70,000 students riding school buses on 2,100 routes in Wake County, there are bound to be mishaps.

But the parents of one local kindergartener said even one accident was too many when their son’s first bus ride landed him in the emergency room.

Wednesday was a big day for Ryan Bullock, 5. It was his first day of kindergarten and his first time on a school bus. It was a first his mother would like to forget.

Mercedes Bullock and Ryan were waiting for the bus when the driver went past them.

“There is no way she could not have seen me at all,” Mercedes said.

She dropped her son off at school and reported the problem. After his first day of school, Ryan boarded the bus to go home, but the driver missed his stop again, Mercedes said.

She was at the stop waiting for her son as she saw the bus pass.

“I take off running, and I’m looking to see if she’s going to stop a little further down the road,” Mercedes said. “She never stopped, and then I’m panicking.”

Frantic, Ryan’s parents called the school system.

“My thought is, we have this 5-year-old who is going to be lost, wandering around some strange neighborhood not knowing where he is,” said Michael Bullock, Ryan’s father.

School officials called the bus driver and told her to take Ryan back to his stop where his mom was waiting.

“I ran around the bus to get him off, and before I could say anything, [the bus driver] said, ‘He’s bleeding,’” Mercedes said.

Ryan told his mom he stood up when he saw his stop, but fell and hit his head when the driver failed to stop.

School officials said there won't be any disciplinary action taken against the bus driver.

“Should there have been a little bit more diligence? Probably, but I think it’s more of a communications issue than not following procedures at all,” said Wake County Public Schools spokesman Michael Evans.

The Bullocks said they think the bus driver should be punished. Their son had a big bump and had to get a staple in his head, they said.

The school system agreed to pay Ryan’s medical bills.

This wasn’t the first time recently that Wake County schools have had a problem with wrong bus stops.

Last month, two children were dropped off at the wrong stops. A 4-year-old was dropped off several blocks from home, and a 5-year-old was dropped off 7 miles from home.