SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Suffolk woman is demanding answers after she was told her child couldn’t get on the school bus and was eventually left behind.
It happened Wednesday morning on a bus route headed for Northern Shores Elementary School.
The mother said she didn’t find out until her son called her.
10 On Your Side spoke with the school district who said it was a miscommunication.
The mother said the mix-up involved a bus pass and she wants to know why the school never contacted her.
Latoy Hall said she was at work when she got a call from her 11-year-old son.
“My son called and FaceTimed me and said ‘Mom, I wasn’t allowed to get on the bus.’ I immediately was like ‘what do you mean?’” Hall said.
A family friend who lives nearby saw the bus drive off and drove Hall’s son to school. Hall went to the school and spoke with the principal.
“I was terrified. I was upset. I was worried — like if they do that to him, they could do that to anybody,” Hall said. “She did say ‘yes, that wasn’t right. She expressed her concern and she was sorry.”
Hall said her son had recently started riding that school bus but it wasn’t yet official on paper. Hall said her son had a written note with an emergency contact but she also said she spoke with a school employee about it Tuesday afternoon.
“She stated to me that she would give him the transportation form. I was waiting on the form to come home,” Hall said.
A school district spokesperson told 10 On Your Side in an email, “there was a miscommunication between the transportation supervisor and the driver.”
The district said it does not turn away students from the bus in the morning unless the school tells the driver otherwise — for example, if a student is suspended.
We asked the school district twice – is a parent or guardian contacted prior to the bus leaving the stop if a student isn’t allowed on? We didn’t get an answer.
“What’s your protocol? Do she just close the door and leave the kid out there and not radio in?” Hall asked. “Someone should’ve called me. They could’ve taken him to the school and then called me.”
The district tells us students cannot get on a bus to leave school for home unless it’s their assigned bus or they have a bus pass.
Hall said her son was able to ride the bus home from school Wednesday afternoon, and she now has a copy of the transportation form to officially get her son assigned to that bus.
Note: In the video package, the mother’s name was incorrectly pronounced once. WAVY apologizes for the error.