Parents say boy, 6, dropped off far from home

September 6, 2009 4:00:56 PM PDT
A six-year-old boy was terrified after his family says he was dropped off at the wrong bus stop. And now, they want answers from the school district. The little boy ended up away from his home and his parents desperate to find him. The family says the whole ordeal may stem from a change of district policy. The boy was supposed to be dropped off last week off Bougainvilla and Townes Forest in Friendswood.

The district changed its bus routes this year to make them more efficient, wasting less gas and less time, but it also means dropping kids off a little farther from home. Last week, though, six-year-old Grant Garnett's parents say in the midst of all this change, their son ended up a lot farther from home.

"I felt scared," said Grant.

When he got off his bus last Monday, he says it took him a moment to realize the driver had left him in the wrong neighborhood.

"He drove off before I could say anything," said Grant.

Grant's parents say he wound up a third of a mile from where Clear Creek ISD's website says he should have been dropped off, right at the end of his street.

"We were out here," said Grant's father, Grant R. Garnet. "The bus never came."

When Grant's father considers what could have happened to his son, he thinks it's pure luck his son caught the attention of C.J. Weed, a man who's pretty good with kids. He does, after all, have 18 grandkids.

"I know when you see one crying, upset, walking down the street, he does not belong in this neighborhood," said Weed.

Grant's parents say Weed helped their son find his way home. But now they want the school district to change its dropoff policy.

Last year, Clear Creek ISD admits its busses went practically door to door. This year, they have central dropoff points to cut down on travel time and fuel costs. Grant's parents are circulating a petition, asking that at least the very youngest students be dropped off within view of their home, a place they will instantly know they belong.

The district released a statement, saying the new bus routes eliminate about 1,200 stops and save taxpayers roughly $200,000. Even with these changes, policy dictates elementary students should be dropped off no more than about 800 feet from their home.

The district tells us its bus drivers believe the child was dropped off in the right place, but they're going to look into it further when people go back to work on Tuesday.

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