An anxious mother realized her 7-year-old daughter hadn’t returned home from school on time and froze after checking the security camera footage.
Illinois-based Redditor MacedWiindu was like any other parent who’d cheerfully put their child in the school bus and wave bye until the bus vanished off their sight. But what happens when the child doesn’t show up after school, and you know it’s getting eerily late?
On a fateful afternoon in 2019, the mother found herself entangled in the same plight after discovering her daughter hadn’t returned home from school on time and was compelled to check the CCTV footage.
The mom eagerly waited for her daughter's school bus to arrive that afternoon | Photo: Flickr
The school year had just begun at the time of the incident, and the school bus driver was unfamiliar with all the stops and kids onboard the bus. Still, the Original Poster (OP) trusted him with her child just like the other parents did.
Two weeks later, OP eagerly waited for her daughter to return after school, knowing she wouldn’t be home until around 3:13 pm. But the girl didn’t show up.
The mom assumed there was some unavoidable delay and wasn’t concerned until the clock struck 3:30 pm. Panic-stricken, she rang up the school district while simultaneously checking the security camera in her house.
OP had her eyes fixed on her doorway | Photo: Pexels
OP saw another girl who took the same school bus with her daughter walk past her house at 3:13 pm. She kept her eyes fixed on the footage to see if her child was with her, but she wasn’t there.
[S]he felt suing her child’s wrongdoers was now out of the question.
The mother began to panic even more and drove around the subdivision searching for her daughter. She looked everywhere as far as her eyes could see, hoping her little girl would be around somewhere.
The mom drove around the locale & looked for her daughter | Photo: Pexels
Around 20 minutes later, she speculated if her daughter would’ve made it home and immediately rushed back. Then she saw an older woman who lived in the same block walk over her yard as she pulled over, and walking next to her was her daughter!
After seeing her daughter with the elderly neighbor, the mom was instantly swept over with relief. She learned that the old woman found her daughter wandering down the street and had asked for her help getting home. Since OP’s family was one of the few people of color in the subdivision, the older woman recognized the child was hers instantly.
To find out why her daughter got lost, OP contacted the bus company and found out that the school bus driver had dropped her daughter off at the wrong stop, but the man tried to justify himself. He claimed he didn’t stop the bus at the child’s intended station as nobody was there to pick her up.
An elderly neighbor found OP's daughter wandering alone down the street | Photo: Pexels
The girl eventually missed noticing her station and alerted the driver a few stops later. She told him she’d get home on her own, so he just dropped her off at the wrong stop in the vicinity of the neighborhood.
A little over two years after the appalling incident, OP decided to notify the internet about her plight and sought legal advice. However, she felt suing her child’s wrongdoers was now out of the question. Meanwhile, the online community offered her their mixed opinions and criticisms.
The driver dropped the girl off at the wrong stop | Photo: Unsplash
“IL lawyer here. Your damages, if any, are minimal. I’m not even sure the driver was negligent. I am glad your daughter is okay,” Redditor grzebelus stated. But user Krosa76 lashed out at the mom, saying:
“In what world do you think you should be paid for your daughter not paying attention? She was already compensated; she learned a valuable lesson.”
Amidst the heated debate about who was wrong, a few people agreed with OP and blamed the driver for intentionally dropping off a child at the wrong stop.
People online lashed out at the driver for leaving the child at the wrong stop | Photo: Pexels
“The bus driver was an adult, being paid to be responsible for the 7-year-old child...It should be the bus driver who learned a valuable lesson,” user sub3marathonman wrote.
Though the mom was sure she could no longer sue the bus company or the school district, she did what she was supposed to be doing as a parent.
She waited until the next day to meet the driver in person and politely roasted him for making her girl wander around helplessly at the wrong stop and made sure it never happened again.
OP met the bus driver the next day & politely reprimanded him | Photo: Pexels
Questions to Ponder:
Who do you think needed to be more alert here: the school bus driver or OP’s daughter?
OP stated her daughter wasn’t probably paying attention when the driver drove off to the next station without stopping at hers. The driver later told the mom that he didn’t stop the bus as nobody was waiting there to pick the girl up. However, the people online offered divided opinions on the issue, with some siding with OP that the driver needed to be cautious. In contrast, a few others argued her daughter had to be alert while on the bus.
Why is it important for parents to update their children with road safety & routes?
OP's daughter was confident about returning home after getting down at the wrong stop, but she never made it for around 30 minutes as she didn’t know the way. Considering this situation, do you think the mom could’ve previously toured the girl around the neighborhood to help her understand how to get home if at all she missed her route? In what other ways do you think parents should help their children learn more about road safety & routes?
If you liked this story, here’s how a mother gets roasted online for slamming the school bus driver who failed to keep the bus quiet for her autistic son.
All images are for illustration purposes only. Would you mind sharing your story with us? It might inspire & change someone’s life. If you’d like to share your story, please send it to email@example.com.