Kids get lost after getting off at wrong bus stop

August 24, 2010 5:12:10 AM PDT
Two families are angry at what happened to four young children their first day of school. They went missing for hours, and the families say the school didn't want to call police for help. The children go to the Varnett School on South Willow near Post Oak, but they mistakenly ended up at a day care none of them attend at Highway 288 and Reed Road.

"The mother went to school, and when she got to the school, it was total chaos because all they could tell us was they didn't know where the children were. They didn't know if the children got on the bus or nothing," grandmother Claudette Bell said.

For three hours, no one could find the missing children -- a 6-year-old and three young cousins, ages 4, 5 and 6.

The families asked the school to call police, but the families say the principal refused to do so.

"Other parents were asking, 'Well what is your policy?' and their policy was we look for the kids ourselves first before we contact anybody else, and I just think that's outrageous," Bell said.

Eventually, a 6-year-old girl remembered her mother's phone number and called her. It turned out the kids had walked off a bus at the wrong stop to a day care at Highway 288 and Reed Road.

"Other kids from our school go to that day care, so since the lady was saying she knows it's the first day, she said, 'Oh maybe these are new kids that I just don't know yet,'" said Alsie Cluff, the Varnett School's assistant facilities director.

The families reunited at the day care, and luckily, all of the children are OK.

Varnett School officials drove away Monday evening without saying a word to the upset families, although they did offer an apology to us.

"We say we're sorry. But again, sorry has never fixed nothig. We can just make sure that they'll be the last ones that this happens to," Cluff said.

A Varnett School official said the school will use a different driver on the route on Tuesday and also use a list to check off children when they get off bus.


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