What is school district policy for student on wrong bus?

5:29 PM, Aug 22, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Eleven year old Jonathan Smart said his second day at school was scary because he got on the wrong bus to get home.

"I was on the wrong bus when she (the driver) told me to get out, then I did," said Smart.

He attends Kernan Middle School, about six miles from his home, and this is his first year riding the big yellow bus. 

Richard Smart, his father, said he had just given his son a cell phone and he's glad he did.

"He called me all hysterical," said Smart, "and said 'Dad, I'm on Cortez and I don't know where I am.'" 

For the 11-year-old, it was terrifying. When his dad finally picked him up, he realized he was a mile from his home.

Smart said he went to the school to ask what its policy is for students who get on the wrong bus.

"I said 'what is your policy when a child gets on the wrong bus?'" said Smart, "One of the ladies said 'We just drop them off at whatever street they live on. We drop them off at the last stop.'"

However, when he called the school transportation, he was given a different response. Smart is glad no one was hurt, but like any parent, he wants the procedure made clear.

"If that's the policy and procedure, I need to see what I need to do to get it changed," said Smart.

The school district said based on its investigation, it cannot substantiate the claims being made regarding the location and manner his son was dropped off; the driver will not be penalized.

First for you, the district has a policy and it is clear: "Under no circumstances shall a student be placed off a bus at an unassigned bus stop."

The policy states that the bus contractor is responsible for transporting the student and shall notify the school immediately.

The district is urging parents to make sure students are fully informed of their bus number to and from school prior to riding a bus. If there are questions, they can call the hotline 381-RIDE.

First Coast News

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