A mom restlessly looks for her 5-year-old son after the school bus doesn’t show up on time and is startled when the driver says the boy wasn’t there on the bus.
What can be more frightening for a parent than hearing their kid’s school bus driver say the child is not on the bus? One mother had to battle her worst fears when her son’s bus driver told her this.
Reddit user No_Study9718, a mom of a 5-year-old boy, took her plight to the internet and shed light on a nightmare she never wants to experience again.
Mom restlessly searches for her son after school bus doesn't arrive | Photo: Shutterstock
On a fateful Wednesday morning, the Original Poster (OP) put her son on his school bus as usual. Having realized it was time to pick him up, the mom hurried to the stop that afternoon.
The drop-off was scheduled at around 4:18 pm, though a 7-minute lag before and after pick-up was usually acceptable.
OP reached the stop at 4:08 pm and waited for the bus to arrive. It was 4:59 pm, and the bus still did not show up. She then contacted the Department of Transportation (DOT) to find out the vehicle’s whereabouts.
The mother anxiously waited for the school bus to arrive | Photo: Unsplash
A few minutes later, the DOT reached out to her with several pieces of shocking news, one after the other. They told her the driver informed them that her son was not on the vehicle and she never put him on that bus in the morning.
The guy had even claimed the teacher didn’t put the boy on the bus after school. At this point, the mother started to freak out.
The driver claimed the mother didn't put the boy on the bus in the morning | Photo: Pixabay
OP contacted the school and tried to reach out to the concerned teacher. Just then, the DOT once again called her and told her that her son was still in his school. They argued OP could’ve signed him up and forgotten about it after a Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) program.
The woman couldn’t believe what she was hearing as she very well knew she’d put her boy on the bus that morning.
The mom got a call from her son's teacher | Photo: Unsplash
Just as she sensed something was amiss, she got a call from her son’s teacher. The woman told OP that she put her son on the bus that afternoon and he should be in there somewhere.
Around 15 minutes later, the mother received another call from the transportation officials. But this time, they had more shocking news for her.
They revealed OP’s son was found sleeping in the back seat. The mother had never been this terrified and listened hastily.
The authorities claimed to have found the boy sleeping in the back seat | Photo: Pixabay
They told her they’d bring the boy back home but were now at the storage facility. After waiting for nearly two hours, the bus arrived at 6 pm.
The driver sheepishly apologized to OP for taking her son for a ride and told her he didn’t stop because she wasn’t there to pick the boy up from the stop.
However, the GPS OP received from the authorities indicated that the driver arrived at the stop at 4:05 pm, earlier than scheduled.
The mother then asked her son about what happened, and eventually, more startling details came to light. She found out he hadn’t been sleeping or sitting in the back seat.
The school bus arrived 2 hours later | Photo: Unsplash
To her dismay, the authorities insisted it was a “SIMPLE” mistake and that she should just get over it, but she told them she wasn’t comfortable risking her son’s safety with that driver.
The officials became aggressive and told OP she was overly ridiculous when she proposed removing the driver from that route.
They didn’t spare the school faculty either. They contacted the boy’s teacher and declared it was the child’s fault for not having a school tag that’s supposed to be scanned on and off the vehicle, though he had it.
The transportation authorities condemned the mom & the boy's school, declaring it was the child's fault | Photo: Pexels
The mother was vexed by the incident and, posting her narrative to Reddit’s “Advice” forum, asked the internet if she overreacted.
She sought advice on whether she was wrong for insisting the concerned authorities remove the driver from the route and refusing to send her son to school until they do.
The internet sided with her in this entire plight and was kind to her while they were enraged with the driver for what he did.
OP insisted for the authorities to remove the driver from the route | Photo: Unsplash
“Not overreacting. Not losing a kid is like the biggest job of a school bus driver,” Redditor mothertothemax wrote.
“This is unacceptable behavior from a school bus driver,” user Present-Way-5240, adding:
“If your child was not brought home on time, you should reach out to the school district or the bus company to report the incident.”
The person also advised on the importance of addressing this inappropriate behavior so that other kids aren’t affected. Eventually, OP turned up with another shocking response.
People supported the mom & told her it's the biggest job of the driver to drop kids safely | Photo: Unsplash
“The driver also let a 5-year-old girl off the bus Monday without her parent there. She wasn’t very familiar with and was scared,” she recounted.
OP claimed she had no other way to get her son to school other than the bus but felt unsafe putting him on the bus with a driver who was more concerned about lying to save himself than finding a missing child.
“DOT is saying the driver got the route through seniority and isn’t going anywhere,” she recounted.
In a similar instance, the driver had dropped off a small girl without her parent's presence | Photo: Unsplash
Questions to Ponder:
Is it acceptable when school bus drivers drop children off at their stops, even if the parents aren’t around?
OP shared an instance where the concerned bus driver once dropped a 5-year-old girl despite realizing her parent wasn’t around. Thankfully, the girl’s sister showed up. Still, many, including OP herself, argued that bus drivers should not leave children without their parents showing up. How else would you handle this situation apart from reaching out to the school and the authorities if you were OP?
Do you think such inappropriate behavior needs to be addressed?
The people online argued that the driver’s behavior was unacceptable and needed to be reported on time so that other children would not be affected by something similar. Some said that dropping kids safely without losing them is the most critical job of a bus driver. Should the authorities check on the driver’s behavior, would it convince OP to trust him with her son again?
If you liked this story, here’s how a mom battles her worst fears after the school bus driver mysteriously speeds away without dropping her two kids at the stop.
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