3 on Your Side: School Bus Leaves Five-Year-Old Behind - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Rankin County 02/04/08

3 on Your Side: School Bus Leaves Five-Year-Old Behind

By Julie Straw

A mother is outraged after her five year old daughter could not find her Rankin County school bus and ended up in a van.  This comes nearly three weeks after a bus driver for that same school district was fired for leaving another kindergarten student on the bus.

"You see those little faces at WalMart and those are lost babies. And that could have been mine," said Tonya Dixon.  She shudders to think how the events of Friday afternoon could have been different.  That was the day her five-yea- old daughter Kennedy was released from Rouse Elementary but never boarded the school bus. Kennedy's bus had left her behind. She later told her mother she could not find help from a faculty member. So the five-year-old went to the one thing that seemed familiar–a van that belonged to her former day care K's Kids Learning Center.

"She was hysterical and begged them to please don't leave me, please just take me somewhere where I can get with my mom," said Dixon.

K's Kids Manager Keisha Love called Dixon to let her know her daughter was safe. Dixon called Rouse Elementary school for answers but she did not get what she was looking for.

"I contacted the school to find out if they knew where my daughter was. No one knew anything about the entire incident," said Dixon.

The Rankin County School District released this statement to WLBT:
"We apologize for any worry or concern caused to the family and student as a result of this incident.  After examining the situation, the school district has taken appropriate action to ensure that this does not happen again."

Dixon hopes the school distrcit reacts quickly. "It's like the moment you wave goodbye to your baby, the cute little face in the morning and say bye sweetie, how do you know I'll never see you again. That could have been the last time – Friday morning," said Dixon.

The Rankin County School District will hold a meeting tomorrow involving all principals and transportation directors from each school zone.  They plan to review school bus procedures and focus on what needs improvement.


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