EAST BOSTON, Mass. - A grandmother is furious after she says her granddaughter was left to ride the school bus for hours on her first day of first grade.
"My blood is boiling inside me, I can't relax since this happened and I just want answers," Olga Curto told FOX25.
Talia Brown attends the Dante Alighieri School in East Boston. From there, Curto said she is supposed to be taken by school bus to an after school program at the East Boston YMCA on Ashley Street. When school let out at 1:30 p.m., Curto said Talia got on the bus, but never made it to the Y.
"My daughter went to the YMCA at 5:05 to pick her up and they told her she wasn't there. At that moment, my daughter had a heart attack. She just basically almost fell to the floor," said Curto.
Curto said that an hour later, the Boston Public Schools Transportation Department called to say they had Talia. They said she had been on a school bus the entire time.
"The driver just continued on to his to four other routes whatever those routes were I don't know," Curto told FOX25.
Olga said she's doesn't understand why the school bus driver didn't notice her granddaughter or why the YMCA didn't call to tell her Talia never showed up
"I haven't gotten any response. The only response I have gotten if from your news station," she said.
Boston Public Schools released a statement to FOX25 Monday afternoon, saying the issue arose from a miscommunication between the student's parent and an official at her daughter's school. According to BPS, the child's mother had requested to change the child's bus stop to a different drop-off location.
Full statement from Boston Public Schools:
The safety of our students is the top priority for the Boston Public Schools (BPS). The school bus driver in Thursday’s incident followed proper protocol by not dropping off a young student who showed hesitation due to the fact that her parent was not present at the designated drop-off location. The bus driver circled back to the bus stop a few minutes later, and, when there still was no sign of the child’s parent, he contacted the BPS Safety Desk at 2:05 p.m. The Safety Desk immediately tried to contact the student’s mother.
BPS protocol dictates that if the Safety Desk cannot reach the family, then the driver retains custody of the child, ensuring his her or safety, while continuing the routes until a parent or guardian can be reached and a safe drop-off location arranged.
Minutes after BPS transportation officials successfully reached the mother on the fourth attempt, the student was dropped off safely at her original designated drop-off location at 5:53 p.m.
This issue arose from a miscommunication earlier that day between the student’s parent and an official at her daughter’s school regarding a request by the mother to change her child’s bus stop to a different drop-off location. A BPS Transportation official contacted the parent Thursday evening and resolved the issue by helping her successfully fill out the necessary Alternative Stop Request form and officially change the drop-off location.
BPS has safety procedures in place for when a situation such as this occurs, and those procedures were correctly followed by the driver on Thursday.
FOX25 has reached out to the YMCA, but hasn't heard back.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.