Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Tiapet, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Is the calmest, nicest words I can use at the moment. For 3 1/2 hours today I didn't know where my daughter or her bus were and the school wasn't sure either! How can this be? How can a school not know this?

    We had a snow storm. The school dismissed early (though they should have done it earlier). Kids got out at 2:30. Schools only 10 minutes from house but it usually takes 1 hour ride home. Ok fine. I get a text from middle difficult child at 3.:59 using someone else's phone (she no longer has hers) saying they left school late and the bus was sliding all over. I wait, and wait, and wait. I start getting antsy a 1/2 hour past her time she should have been home but think it's not unreasonable with road conditions as they were being reported (although mr. busy made it home just fine and on time, however he was coming from opposite direction and a tiny bit closer). I wait some more. At an hour past time I'm REALLY starting to worry. I start posting to twitter for reactions from the local news to see if they know anything. Nothing, but I start hearing about bus accidents on the news with non specific information.

    I get out difficult child's phone to see if I can piece anything together from her contact list. There is a text message that came in from this afternoon from a girlfriend of a boy on the same bus. She's also looking for him for his mother as he didn't come home. Good, well not good but good to know I'm not the only one looking. Now we're at 2 1/2 hours! I decide to CALL the newstation and see if they have any specific information. They told me try calling the school (I had done it once but no answer at the time), that there was apparently some bus accidents or something (information they gave sounded like they knew something but weren't releasing it). I call the school I do get someone. I am told that there were some buses that couldn't make it and there at a local grocery store being staged with school members and parents have to go get the kids but they didn't know if she was one of them! They needed to check and would call me back. I wait. 25 minutes go by no call back. I call them back and ask again! This time someone else and am told that the lady I spoke to is on with principal as we speak trying to locate her. Finally he comes back and tells me she is NOT on the list! I'm also told their is another bus "broken down" on a certain road. Maybe she is on that but they don't know. They don't know who's on that bus! Now we're at 3 hours.

    I get a call from a girl in the neighborhood that difficult child knows and has hung out with on and off. She tells me "difficult child is at grocery store and me and my mom will go get her". I said really? You're sure? (thinking she should know this as she rides the bus with her) She said yes. I said thank you but I can go get her. I call school and tell them what I was told and they were a little dumbfounded but were happy to hear this. Said let them know when I have her so they know she is safe (the lady who was very concerned).

    Now we're at 3 1/2 hours. Head out to get her and don't get to far. Here she is just being let out at the bus stop!!! Turns out she WAS on the bus that was on that certain road and it was not "broken down." It had slid off the road and was almost on it's side in a ditch! It had an accident! No wonder they were keeping it under wraps. I called school back and let them know we had her and NO she was not at school after all and WAS on that bus on rd. Said I have no clue how or why this girl gave misinformation (you know I'm going to find out what happened though- not mad at her but just wondering how this happened). I said to lady how they heck can the school NOT know what kids are on what buses? She said she thought they had a list too and she was going crazy. She yelled at security to get her a list. She really was just as upset and mad.

    I'm sure this will NEVER happen again and they'll have a list from now on but still.....

    How can a school have kids on buses and NOT know what buses and what kids? That to me is a liability waiting to happen! :(

    I'm glad she is home safe and sound but after 3 1/2 hours.......grrrrr
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I have been there done that although not under the same circumstances. You must have been frantic. I don't blame you for being beyond livid......because I know I would have been.....because I was when it happened to us.

    We had just moved to this small town. Nichole was 7 yrs old and riding the bus alone for the first time in her life. They gave her the bus number ect before school started and we memorized it like no one's business to help ease her anxiety over riding alone in a strange place. She doesn't come in doesn't get off the bus at the stop with the other grade school kids. Now I am clear across town from the grade school with no car. I call the school. They have no clue what happened but will call me back. 45 mins later I call again........oh.....(lady has the audacity to laugh) she probably just got on the wrong bus, she'll turn up eventually. I blew a gasket, explaining to her this child had no clue about the area she was in because we'd just moved here........she could get confused and get off anywhere!

    I finally got my child at nearly 6pm that evening. Once Fred got home I made him drive to the grade school and I ripped them a new one in person. By then I was ready to murder school staff who couldn't seem to figure out where the hell my child was. Finally........she turned up on a bus at the bus barn. The driver had found her when he'd done his bus check before clocking out for the day. We had to go pick her up. Thankfully she'd fallen asleep on the bus and didn't have a clue what had happened.

    Turned our her teacher had argued with Nichole when she told her what bus she was to take and forced her onto the wrong bus..........which took her to every stop along the county line. Teacher got an ear full, school got an ear full, superintendent got an ear full. They didn't lose her again. grrrrrrr

    I'm glad middle difficult child made it home safely. omg
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow...thats awful...both of you. Guess we all have bus horrors. They lost Jamie too. He was 5.

    We lived in Greensboro NC and it was a big city for a little kindergarten boy. We had lived in this big brick house for about the first two months of school but it just wasnt a house that we could manage to keep up so we moved into an apartment complex. I went to the school and told the principal and teacher and made sure they understood that Jamie needed to go on a new bus. Now Jamie and Billy both went to that same school. It should have been easy to do this.

    Well on that very first day they got Billy on the right bus but not Jamie. On the first day going home, they put Jamie on his old bus and they dropped him off at our old house which was on a major road. I didnt know anything was wrong until Billy got home and Jamie wasnt with him. And I didnt have a phone to call the school! When Billy got home without Jamie I asked him if Jamie had been on the bus and he "didnt think so" so I got in the car with Billy and Cory and went back to the school and he wasnt there. They called the bus company to see if he was on the other bus and thats when that driver told them that they had dropped him off at our old house. Now imagine a 5 year old in the middle of a city on a major highway. Yeah...omg. I raced back to where we used to live and we had a gas station that was across the street. The man that worked there saw Jamie get off that bus and he knew we had moved. He knew something was wrong so he went over and got Jamie and took him in and fed him cookies and milk until we came to find him. Whew.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so thankful that she is safe and sound!! NO WAY should school AND the transportation dept NOT have known what bus she was on. I find it horrible that the bus was in an accident and no one notified parents. how hard would it have been? in my opinion the school should send text messages of stuff like this to parents. If the washer and dryer in my apt complex can send us a text when the load is done, surely the bus co could also do this.

    How do they NOT know who is on what bus? The accident was something that happens, but not knowing which children rode that bus? THAT is neglect. Do kids just get on whatever bus they want? Here children are assigned to the buses and if you try to get on the wrong one after the first or second week, the driver won't let you. Even at the middle, jr and high schools. To ride a different bus, you must have a note from your parent, a note from the parent who's house you are going to or who's business you are going to, the principal's signature, and if you have EVER been in any trouble on the bus (your normal one or past ones), then you need the bus driver's permission also. Otherwise, you cannot get on the bus. You are welcome to go anywhere you want, but not on our school buses.

    Is it possible for you to go to the head of transportation and ask that they create lists of which child is on which bus (yes, they should have this but clearly they do not) and suggest they set up some sort of system to notify parents directly if there is an accident that will delay the bus, esp ones the children are involved in. It would not be that hard to take the contact info that surely is on the bus rider agreement or else that the school has, and send a text or email to those parents automatically.

    It is just inexcusable to lose students this way. I am very sure you are not the only mom with a student who didn't arrive home and couldn't be found for hours. The emergency planning needs to be more responsible and proactive.
  5. Methuselah

    Methuselah New Member

    I'm sorry the school put you through this! When my kids' bus had an accident, the school called every rider's parents to alert them of the situation. To not do this is irresponsible.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Terrible! Do you have the transportation phone number? I call them directly. When Q's bus crashed I got a phone call before the police and new bus even got there this year. When he was super late due to snow I called and they told me what street they were on, what was going on, etc. If possible see if you can get that number.....

    So relieved kiddo is safe!
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Arrghhh! I just finished reading an article on migraines. I would have had one, had I been in your shoes.
    I am so sorry. I would be livid, too.
    Glad she's safe, anyway. The bus driver could have had a cell ph, or had kids call their parents on one anothers' cell phones. Ridiculous.
  8. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    This is horroble to hear. Those busses have some type of walkie-talkie connection with the bus company. The bus company knew right away ther had been an accident. The problem you have is with the school. They could have easily put you on hold while contacting them. They should have followed up on your call, especially when a parent is saying a child is missing. It is the schools duty to call the parents of the kids on the bus and to drive there, send another bus, and check on the accident. I would be more angry at the school, I'm sure you weren't the only parent calling. easy child's bus had an accident once, the vice principal was there in minutes, she boarded the bus and contacted parents.
  9. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Problem is, the principal was already on site at the grocery store location with several buses manning that scene as those buses couldn't make their runs. However they were safely sitting in a parking lot. Notice went out via news, phone and text message. Though the message sent out bus numbers, 1 of the bus #'s was MY child's bus so it was inaccurate! They had a written up list of the kids on those buses (but it wasn't a transportation list it was one they composed from principal on scene). The did have cell phones relaying messages for that situation too.

    The accident one I'm not sure how they were being relayed. I do know that what was taking place was a tow truck was being brought in to get the bus out of the ditch. How do I know this? Well I didn't know at the time it was MY kid's bus only that it was a bus in the area. I was listening to police scanner by then. They were keeping it very hush hush over the air.

    The lady in the office told me that after this she is making sure that it can never happen again as she is demanding a list for just this purpose! I tend to believe her as she was in a pure frantic situation and her voice you could tell how upset and concerned she was. I have no doubt of the sincerity of this. Will it happen? I tend to think so as I'm not the only parent and there is BIG rumors (yes rumors aren't always believable) going around that are superintendent's head is wanted on a platter right now. At risk of being fired. First because he waited too long to call early dismissal and their were problems with buses in many schools, some were even inner city. Secondly that they need to have a better way of contacting parents as well as have a list of the kids on the buses at all times.
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    I'd have been off my rocker. Glad she's safe and home!
  11. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    I work in school related transportation; for a private sub contractor. We do vans, not anything as large as a school bus; but the same principles can still apply. There are strict guidelines for knowing who is where, rules for the drop off and pick up, and communication between schools, parents, transportation. It comes down to safety issues, especially in cases of emergency