5-year-old St. Charles Co. girl gets on wrong school bus

By Casey Nolen

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. (KSDK) -A father wants answers after his kindergartner was sent home Wednesday on the wrong school bus.

It happened after a mix up at a Francis Howell Elementary School. The 5-year-old is back with her family but they are still upset that for a time, they had no idea where she was.

From a logistical stand point, this has nothing to do with the hundreds of Normandy students that are riding the bus everyday from St. Louis County to Francis Howell schools, but those new routes did worry these parents when they realized their daughter wasn't on the right bus.

Phoebe Walters is back where her father wants her tonight, watching cartoons with him on the couch. But when he went to meet her at her bus stop this afternoon, she did not get off the bus like she was supposed to.

Eric Walters says he headed straight for Central Elementary and reported his daughter missing. Not long later, administrators figured out instead of bus 18 she got on bus 19.

The school says, per safety procedures, she never got off the wrong bus since there was no one to pick her up.

But her father says the time he waited for her to return was gut-wrenching and he's not happy with the school for letting it happen.

In a statement the school principal says the parents aren't the only ones upset by this. She and the girl's teacher are upset too. She says teachers walk all kindergarteners to their buses and they will be reviewing video tape to try and figure out how this happened and to keep it from happening again.

Here is the full statement from a spokesperson for the Francis Howell School District:
"The first days of school we work hard to establish our routines and procedures. This is especially true regarding transportation for our students. Today, one of our students rode the wrong bus home after school. Her parents notified the school when she did not get off at her bus stop. Our office immediately contacted First Student where they located her on the neighboring bus (slot 19 rather than 18). The driver brought her back to school. It is procedure for our teachers to walk each K-3 student to their individual bus at the end of the day."


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