RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Richmond School bus dropped a kindergartner off in the wrong place, by himself. Now, the school is apologizing for its mistake.
There was a mix-up about where 5-year-old Tyler Bell was supposed to be. He regularly attends daycare after school, but just moved to a new home. A paper in the office at Elizabeth Redd Elementary indicated the child should go to daycare, but the one his teacher had indicated the child should be sent home.
The school mistakenly sent him on the bus to his new house, with no grownup there to greet him or care for him.
A spokesman for As We Grow Learning Center told NBC12 that the daycare's driver was at the school to pick Tyler up from school, but was told Tyler got on a bus instead.
It was only several hours later when a family friend came to pick Tyler up from daycare, that anyone realized the 5-year-old had been unaccounted for, for hours.
"I'm calling friends, calling hospitals, calling everybody to call everywhere," said Kirstin Bell, Tyler's mother. "All I could think about was that he would try to cross the street, he would try to go to a store, he would get hit by a car, kidnapped; you think the worst as a mother."
Instead, Tyler had been dropped off at his new home, despite the fact that no one was at the bus stop to pick him up. He remembered his address and found his home, but his mom was at work.
"I been knocking a lot of times and then nobody was there to open the door," said Tyler.
Luckily, his new neighbors found him and cared for him. But, they didn't speak English well enough to ask him why he was home alone.
A Richmond city schools spokeswoman says they are dismayed over the mistake: "There's no excuse. It should never have happened," stated Felicia Cosby. "We are taking corrective actions and we are re-affirming these processes and procedures and not only that, but we're re-affirming why they are in place to begin with."