Aldine ISD bus driver drops off kids miles from school

May 13, 2013 8:33:48 PM PDT
Aldine ISD officials are trying to explain what happened when a bus driver suddenly dropped off a busload of students several miles away from their school.

The students were on their way to Compass Alternative School Monday morning when the incident occurred.

Most mornings, eighth-grader Marquis Sanders' ride to school aboard an Aldine ISD school bus are pretty uneventful, but this morning was not like most.

"I was thinking, 'Why would he do this? Leave us out here stranded?" Marquis said.

The boy says they were in the Kenswick Meadows Subdivision when the bus driver ordered all of the students -- about a dozen ? off of the bus.

Aldine ISD spokesperson Ben Wilson told Eyewitness News that during the route, the driver received a panicked phone call from his wife, because their home had been broken into while she was home alone with a four-year-old grandchild.

At first, the driver continued the route, but minutes later he received a second call that his wife feared being assaulted. The driver then stopped the bus and sent all the kids off the bus so he could tend to his family emergency.

So off they went to wait, seven miles from Marquis' home and 11 miles from school. They expected another bus soon, but they say it never came.

"All he had to do was take the kids to the bus barn with him. I would have been OK with that," said mother Tamika Laday. "However, you don't just put them out. I understand your situation, but you don't just put them out of the bus and tell them another bus will come along and just leave like that."

After a two-hour wait and attempts by the students to flag down drivers for help, Shanteral Doucette finally stopped.

"They were like, 'please help us; please help us.' I was like 'OK, I will' because I didn't want something to happen to them," Doucette said.

Doucette got them breakfast and took them to school.

"I was glad I was able to help them," she said.

Officials say the driver did call dispatchers to send another bus to pick up the children, but by the time that bus arrived, the kids were no longer at the location.

The district confirmed the bus driver was reacting to a personal emergency. They issued the following statement: "An investigation is underway concerning an allegation that has been made against one of the district's bus drivers. Once the investigation is completed, appropriate action will be taken."

Marquis' mother has her own idea.

"He needs to be cleaning buses not driving kids," she said.

Find Jessica on Facebook at ABC13JessicaWilley or on Twitter at @jwilleyabc13

ABC13 reporter Miya Shay contributed to this report. Find Miya on Facebook at ABCMiyaShay or on Twitter at @miyashay

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