View Full Version : My son didn't come home from school today

08-27-2007, 06:08 PM
I am just getting over the scare of not seeing my 6 yr old son, get off the school bus this afternoon. I saw all
the kids getting off that had gotten in with him in the morning but not my son. I went inside the bus to make sure he was still not sitting there but no; he was not inside the bus either. This whole time the driver just looked at me and my husband but did not say a word.

That's when our panic began. We rushed to the house and began calling the school to no avail ? the phone was either busy or not being answered. I send my husband to the
school and I decided to stay home trying to get in touch with the school and waiting to see if he would come in another bus. I got a call from a really nice lady with news
of relief.

What had happened was that my son had gotten off at the neighborhood next to ours. Luckily this nice lady saw him and ask him to go with her so she can call us. Of course, my son didn't want to go. He was hysterical. Imagine how traumatizing for him. He didn't know the lady. He went with her but didn't go inside the house. He waited outside while she looked for my number. It was his first time riding the bus and he has always been very shy and very attached to us. He's never been anywhere without us. So this was a very scary experience for us. In this case, the ending was not a tragic one, but it could have ended differently. I don't even want to think about what could've happened. Of course, now he doesn't want to ride the school bus again.

The few minutes of anguish we went through are not something we wish on anyone. And not even to mention the trauma our son experienced.

I really thought the bus driver would keep track of the kids (where they get on and off) especially the first week and with the little one. What's the point of having a badge with all the info on the kids shirt if they are not even going to look at it/

Sorry, I needed to vent....I'm still shaking from this whole experience. Tomorrow, I will just go to school and pick him up.

08-27-2007, 06:16 PM
sorry... so scary. thank goodness for the lady.
i'd be at the school in the a.m. having a prayer meeting!!!!!!!!!!!!!

08-27-2007, 06:22 PM
OMG that is a nightmare- you all must be SO upset. hope you can get him calmed down a little and can get him to sleep tonight. Good Grief I can't imagine how panicked you were. hugs all around. Thank God he is ok.

Jan in CA
08-27-2007, 06:24 PM
:shock: I would have been terrified, too! I'm glad he's okay!:hug:

08-27-2007, 06:28 PM
:shock: I can imagine the panic! And how angry you must be at the bus driver! :grrr:

Do you think they would let you in the bus with your son tomorrow? Maybe that would reassure him...

I know a daddy who followed the school bus on his bike to reassure his son on his first week of school. Actually a bunch of parents did the same and you could see a big line of parents on bikes following the bus like little ducklings. :teehee: It gave his son some confidence and after a few days he was able to ride on the bus alone.

08-27-2007, 06:28 PM
Something like that happened to my girlfriend Patty. It was her kid's first day of school in a new city, and they kind of live in the "ghetto". We had to drop the kids off in the morning, because the school never told her where the bus would pick up the kids, or what time. When the time came to pick up the kids, we were waiting at the next block with all of the other moms. The bus stopped at the corner down by their apartment, and then came up to where we were. Her kids didn't get off the bus. The driver had NO idea about what kids belonged where.

I ran back to the apartment, which was a block down from the previous stop, and there were the kids, sitting in the living room eating cheezits and drinking juice. They didn't see us, so they just went straight home.

Talk about a heart attack. We were SO frightened that someone had grabbed them. They don't live in a "nice" neighbourhood. We got so lucky...

08-27-2007, 06:38 PM
Sorry for your scare. The driver at our schools have a check list. They have to make sure everyone is on the bus. Hopefully this will alert your school that something needs to be done about this problem. I can only imagine how you and your husband felt. :hug:
I am also impressed that your son was taught not to go into a stranger's home, and that he remembered what to do:thumbsup:

08-27-2007, 07:06 PM
How scary!!!
Is there another child that your son may be able to buddy up with? I know when I had to ride the bus for the first time I had kids from the neighborhood that I knew and I knew to follow them when they got off of the bus because I lived by them. I would also watch to make sure they were on the bus with me when I left school so I knew I wasn't on the wrong bus. It helps to have a friend by you too so you don't feel so alone.

08-27-2007, 09:14 PM

Glad everything is okay.

08-27-2007, 09:22 PM

Glad he is home and safe.


08-27-2007, 09:25 PM
I would be screaming at the bus driver and the school! :!!!:My daughter rode the bus to and from and both the bus drivers (older married couple) knew her by name where her stop was, the kids on their bus were their responsibility and they knew this. For that driver to just watch your kid get off the bus and not have a clue and for the kids to have info on their shirts is just too much! :shock: And for this to happen on his first day!

I am so glad that nice lady found him and got him home to you!:grphug:

08-27-2007, 09:47 PM
Thank you guys! I'm still trying to get over it.

My husband sent a huge email to the principal making her aware of the situation. I'm sure she'll take care of it. She's a great lady and she does a great job running the school.

Unfortunately, the kid that went on the bus with him this morning doesn't ride the bus in the afternoon because he is an afterschooler. We've been talking to him about it and told him that he doesn't need to get off unless we are there waiting for him. I'll talk to some of the older kids and ask them to keep an eye on him. Well, tomorrow I will pick him up. It'll take me some time to digest all this.

Thank you for the hugs. I really need them right now.


08-27-2007, 09:50 PM
I can't imagine how scared you must have been, and your son too. I'm so glad that everything turned out well.:hug:

The school/bus company should really have a system though especially having young kids on the bus. I'm sure its confusing for the kids the first time riding the bus so I could understand how your son may have gotten off at the wrong stop. I know that around here when the kids are dropped off, the bus driver has to make sure that their parent/guardian/babysitter is waiting at the bus stop for them before the kids can get off the bus. The first few weeks of school it makes the bus ride longer until the driver recognizes the parents, but if they had a system like that in place you probably wouldn't have experienced this scary situation.

I hope you can somehow get this resolved with the school and the driver.

08-27-2007, 11:02 PM
I know how upsetting it can be. I'm glad you've made the school aware of the problem.

When my oldest ds was 6 he rode the bus. We lived in the country so they picked up/ dropped off at the house. One day the bus just went flying by without stopping. I thought maybe they'd stop back by after they turned around, but no, they just went flying by again. Of course I went nuts. I called all his friends that I knew who rode the bus and got off before him and they had all said he was on the bus. I finally got through to the bus company (it's an independant company) and they got the bus driver on the radio. He said ds was not on the bus. So they advised me to call the police. I called the police and they said they'd go by and talk to the driver at the bus depot. Twenty minutes later, a police car pulled in the drive with ds in it. He had layed down on one of the seats in the back and went to sleep and the driver couldn't see him in the mirror and did NOT do a seat check after his route.

Susan P.
08-27-2007, 11:08 PM
It would not be a good idea to allow him to give in to the fear because doing that can create life long issues. How about matching him with an older child as a buddy on the bus? You could quietly even give an older child (with their parent's agreement) some pocket money for doing it.

He was very sensible not going into that house but with all our talk of stranger danger no wonder he was scared. But congrats on him being so sensible in a crisis. And to the lady who appeared to deal with his distress so well.

The same thing happened to me but when I was a little older. My father had told me a specific bus to catch but the bus route ended 3 suburbs away and it was almost night. The driver knew I was alone and confused but sort of shrugged it off and drove away. I began to walk but got scared and so thankful in the end when I came to a phone box and that I had the change to call. I was scared of buses for ages afterwards. :( but a buddy would have helped me over it.

08-27-2007, 11:08 PM
I know it was scary for you and him but sorry, I can't help but laugh. Some time down the road, a few years from now, this is going to be one of those stories you're going to tell some girl he is seeing that he would rather you not.

08-27-2007, 11:14 PM
I remember that panic all too well. Ds wan't quite six when he started a new kindergarten having never ridden the bus. I was pregnant and on semi bed rest. I got up and watched for him from the front yard. The bus came and went with me chasing it to the next stop. Off gets my hysterical boy to see me sobbing. The next I began 3 days of hospital food and then complete bedrest for the next three months. A week later I get a call befor the bus arrives and it is a mother telling me that my very upset little boy had gotten off two stops to soon. After my second complaint we didn't see that bus driver again! I am so glad yours ended up so well too.

Ellen Edwards
08-27-2007, 11:29 PM
So thankful he's safe! I just feel like my little grandosn would have gone with thenlady in her house or car---I just have to tell his dad and mom to train him to be more wary. Of course, he's only 3 now--but it won't be long before he could be in that exact situation!:eyes:

08-27-2007, 11:55 PM
This is very similar to what happened to our son.

It is very scary! Especially when you have to end up putting on a bit of a front so that your son will have the courage to get on the bus tomorrow.

Prayers it all goes much better tomorrow!

08-28-2007, 12:14 AM
We had a friend with a similar situation. There was two little boys- both kindergarteners. The kids on the bus were lectured about standing up when the bus is moving or yelling at the busdriver. The 2 boys were playing and missed their stop. The next stop came and they realized when all the kids got off that they had missed their stop. Instead of saying something to the busdriver in the fear of getting in trouble, they just sat in their seats. The driver got all the way to the bus station before he realized that there was still kids on the bus. They ended up having the parents meet him down at the station and they were livid. I think riding a bus has to be horrible for kindergarteners! I had an older brother and sister and knew all the kids on my street so I never had an issue, but I can't imagine being the oldest or not having a neighbor friend to look out for you!


Hygiene Mama
08-28-2007, 12:38 AM
omg, how scary. This happened to my husband on his first day of kindergarten....my MIL had to drive him to school for 2 weeks after that because he was too scared to ride the bus. I'm glad your son is okay.

08-28-2007, 08:24 AM
I can't even fathom how terrifying that must have been for you!

I was always pretty lucky. My brother and I didn't need to ride the bus until we were out of grade school, and because I went to a magnet school, the bus not only picked me up literally outside my front door, but there were so few kids on the bus that our bus driver knew everyone by name. She would even stop and wait for a few minutes if we weren't outside waiting and running a little bit late. I never really thought of it, but I guess my parents were lucky in that regard too!

I'm so glad everything turned out okay. Judging by some of the responses, it almost seems like it's a rite of passage! At least you've got that over and done with then, right? The resilience of kids never ceases to amaze me. In a couple of weeks, he probably won't even remember it! It's a pity you can't say the same thing, huh? :hug:

08-28-2007, 08:59 AM
:hug: Goodness! What a SCARE!

We have a nice lady that rides the bus WITH the kids, and does a "tag check" and has a clipboard to keep track of parents and locations...

Its so scary to not see your child get off the bus! Im so glad you found him!

08-28-2007, 09:13 AM
My father has been a school bus driver for about 20 years now and has plenty of stories of misadventures BUT he has never dropped a kid off at the wrong place. They have to have permission notes signed by both the parents and the teachers just to go to a friends house instead of their own.

Denise in Michigan
08-28-2007, 11:24 AM

08-28-2007, 11:51 AM
I hope your family has a better day today!:hug:

08-28-2007, 05:26 PM
Thank you all for the hugs, the kind words, the laugh...

I was surprised to see that so many of you, or someone you know, have experience something similar. So, I guess it is a rite of passage.

The drivers are supposed to do the same thing here but, obviously, they are not doing their job in our county.

My son is doing great actually. I'm so proud of him. We are really good at turning a negative experience into a positive one. So, my son is going to keep riding the bus. He rode the bus to school this morning but I picked him up after lunch for a dentist appt. so after that we just came home. I think he already forgot about the whole thing. He is just so excited about his class. He really loves his school but he said that what he loves the most is his teacher. She is a sweetheart!! I'm very thankful that he is in her class. She and the principal called as soon as they found out. They were so sorry about the incident and really upset too. They are talking to the person in charge of the whole transportation system in downtown. I'msure the drivers will be more careful from now on. In the meantime, I told my son not to get off from the bus unless my husband or me are there. i showed him exactly where the bus stops in the afternoon (he has a different bus in the morning) and I showed him the kids that will get off at the same stop so he can keep an eye.


08-28-2007, 06:38 PM
Wow.. that made ME sick to my stomach just thinking about what you must have been going through. I've had that kind of fear since my kids started school. That's why I didn't let them ride the bus until 7th grade. I guess I was a little over protective. lol

But thank goodness your son was ok and is getting over it. Sounds like you have a good plan to keep this from happening again. Best of luck!!

08-28-2007, 07:40 PM
I don't have kids...but I was shocked about what I read yesterday too. A lot has changed over the years. What wasn't a big deal when we were kids makes me kringe as a grownup. Good lord, I took the bus to kindergarten when I was a kid...and I had to walk 3 blocks to one public school to catch the bus to the other public school my kindergarten was at!:shock: Honestly, I think I am of the last generation to remember what it was like to be cautious but not live in fear of being kidnapped or worse. Heck, I was a latch key kid, and you could trust us to stay home alone on sick days. But our parents didn't have to be gone as long in those days. Times sure have changed. Glad it all turned out alright :hug:

08-28-2007, 07:57 PM
I know how upsetting it can be. I'm glad you've made the school aware of the problem.

When my oldest ds was 6 he rode the bus. We lived in the country so they picked up/ dropped off at the house. One day the bus just went flying by without stopping. I thought maybe they'd stop back by after they turned around, but no, they just went flying by again. Of course I went nuts. I called all his friends that I knew who rode the bus and got off before him and they had all said he was on the bus. I finally got through to the bus company (it's an independant company) and they got the bus driver on the radio. He said ds was not on the bus. So they advised me to call the police. I called the police and they said they'd go by and talk to the driver at the bus depot. Twenty minutes later, a police car pulled in the drive with ds in it. He had layed down on one of the seats in the back and went to sleep and the driver couldn't see him in the mirror and did NOT do a seat check after his route.

This happened to my DD when she was in kindergarten... but on the daycare bus. They didnt check the seats or a roll call once inside, so she woke up on the bus terrified!

Luckily she went INSIDE instead of going into the street (a very busy street) I was very angry, but they started checking more after that and hopefully it never happened again.

08-29-2007, 10:12 AM
I'm glad that your son bounced back quickly from it and can enjoy going to school now.

Also, its great that your son had sense enough not to go into the women's house...just shows he's smart about strangers. A lot of times kids think its going to be a big scary man that poses stranger danger and don't think about a nice lady (although in your case she actually was a nice lady)

08-30-2007, 10:35 PM
Oh Lestrella, my heart goes out to you -- I know what you mean about those long paniced minutes -- my little once let go of my hand while standing in a very crowded line for train tickets at an art fair and I couldn't find her -- I so totally paniced and sent DH one way while I looked the other. All I could think of was 'what was she wearing' and 'not my baby' -- as it turned out she had sprinted to the train when it stopped and somebody loaded her up.....one of the scariest several minute of my life -- I can't image the panic you went through when not being able to reach the school, or anything for so long! My little one started kindergarten earlier this month (no bus tho). Sounds like your guy has a good head on shoulders and has listened well to the stanger danger rules. Oddly enough, I did find out that on my first day of kindergarten I didn't get off the bus in the morning and ended up not being found until much later, still in the bus being shy and 'hiding'. My poor mom!!

09-02-2007, 09:45 PM
On my first day of Kindergarten, my mother had drilled it into my head to not get off the bus anywhere else except at our house. Well, for some reason, the bus driver didn't stop at my stop and I ended up riding the whole bus route. At the end of the route the driver found me crying in the back seat and, after checking my name tag, drove me home. Back then, the kindergarten attended a separate school than the 1st-6th grades. I remember my first day of first grade in a new school and being terrified that I wouldn't make it home. I must have spent half the day crying, because I remember the principal boarding the bus once I was on to make sure that I was OK and I knew that I was going to make it home!


09-03-2007, 04:02 AM
:shock: Lestrella, that would be terrifyng to any parent.

You're doing a good thing in making him aware of his surroundings and his companions at his bus stop! :thumbsup: