(Memphis) A bus driver dropped off a 6-year-old student at a random apartment complex, according to her mother.
She said her daughter wasn’t even supposed to be on the bus.
“The first thing she said to me was ‘You need to get to the school. They have misplaced your daughter, and they cannot find her,’” Catrina Jackson said.
Jackson said her 6-year-old daughter, Ariel, was supposed to ride home with her aunt.
Instead, the Scenic Hills Elementary first-grader wound up on a random bus.
“I was scared. I was upset. I was having mixed emotions. I couldn’t help but think the unexpected,” Jackson said.
Jackson said she found her daughter about three miles from the school, in the back of Hilldale Apartments. She said her daughter was crying, screaming, and scared.
“I don’t know how long she had been there,” she said. “It did something to me to know my baby was left there by herself.”
Jackson said her daughter told the bus driver she was on the wrong bus.
“Why not take her back to the school? But she didn’t do that. My baby said she told her to get off the bus and walk home,” says Jackson.
Shelby County Schools said Ariel had a substitute teacher that day and that Ariel wanted to ride the bus.
In a statement, a spokesperson said, “This incident was not caused by a lapse or breakdown in any school-level dismissal protocols.”
But Jackson disagrees, and is calling for a change in the system.
“If they’re letting it slide through with my baby and still are trying to cover it up…How many have the covered up, and how many will they cover up? I think something needs to be done about it,” Jackson said.