MARION, Ark. — Marion School District officials are denying allegations that a Marion Middle School student was forced to walk 12 miles home after he missed his bus Thursday.
Eleven-year-old D'Qualyn Scott told WREG he tried to flag down the bus, but it left without him and his principal refused to let him call home for a ride.
"It was kind of scary 'cause there was, like, cars going everywhere," said Scott.
But school officials said Friday that they reviewed footage that showed the student never made any attempt to get on the bus, even though his classroom is close to where the buses board. They say he walked off campus of his own choosing.
"We watched the video of the bus. No one informed the bus driver that he was not on there. The other thing I heard alleged was that he was trying to catch the bus. Well, that's not in the video either," said Assistant Superintendent Dusty Duncan.
Duncan said Scott never asked the principal to call home Thursday, but said he did the previous day when he missed his bus and was allowed to.
But Scott is standing by his story.
He said he walked to Marion Intermediate School, where his brother is a student, but that the school was already closed.
He said outside the school, a man tried to lure him into his car with a partially eaten cookie, but eventually drove away before two women pulled up and drove him the rest of the way home. He was home by about 6 p.m., he said.
WREG checked with the Crittenden County Sheriff's Office and they have no report of a man trying to lure Scott.
After meeting with Scott, his mother and the mayor of Turrell Friday morning, the district said that the Marion Middle School principal will be personally escorting Scott to his bus in the future.
"Our policies worked. What didn't work was a young man following instructions and getting on the bus," said Superintendent Dr. Glen Fenter.