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Wentzville bus driver leaves student with autism at wrong location

Dennis and Tracy Combs said the driver dropped their son off at a nearby daycare center Friday afternoon and left even after staff said it wasn't their student.

WENTZVILLE, Mo. — Keeping up with three kids is no easy task, but Dennis and Tracy Combs have their kids' bus schedules down pat.

Dennis Combs said they were waiting together on their front porch for Jack to be dropped off from school.

But the bus, carrying, Jack their 7-year-old son with autism never came. Panic started setting in until the phone rang 30 minutes later.

"She got a phone call from the principal letting us know there was a situation with Jack," Combs said. The principal told them he was at a Wentzville daycare 10 minutes away.

Jack rides the bus for the district's special education program called Milestones at Heritage Elementary School. 

He was dropped off about 10 minutes away at the daycare.

"They told me 'Hey, we told them this isn't one of our students we don't know who he is,' and I guess they just turned around and left him," Combs said.

Staff members found Jack's name in his backpack and called Heritage Elementary to alert school leaders of his whereabouts.

"He hasn't been that upset before. Never been in a situation like this. It shouldn't have happened," Combs said.

Combs went to the district office and left messages. Once he filed a police report, he says the superintendent reached out.

"I don't think she was very pleased with the way things were handled. She's doing a full investigation on her side, interviewing everyone involved and taking statements. They'll be going through the video and audio that the bus had.

The Wentzville School District sent us a statement saying:

The Wentzville School District is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for every student in our care. Anything less than that is completely unacceptable and will be investigated and dealt with appropriately.

Combs says Jack is still working through the trauma. They want to make sure this doesn't happen again.

"He's still a little shook up, but he won't be riding the bus anytime soon," Combs said.

Combs said Jack has limited conversational skills with severe autism, so he wasn't able to communicate his name or where he lived with the learning center staff.

They haven't decided whether or not they will take legal action.

They're waiting to learn what the district finds from their investigation.

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