VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach family is looking for answers from the school district after they say their child was dropped off at the wrong location and left to wander a neighborhood.
Stephanie Abney says it was her daughter’s first day of kindergarten when she and her relatives were waiting to greet her at the bus stop.
“The bus rolls up in front of our neighborhood and everyone has their camera. We have our camera to get pictures of her because it’s her first day off the bus. Everyone is getting off the bus and all of the sudden, it’s no Skylar,” she said.
Abney and her mother went to ask the bus driver where her daughter was, but he told them it was his last stop and there were only two other passengers on board, who he also told to get off.
“All I hear him saying is she could be at one of the other stops. He could’ve cared less,” she said.
Abney says she and her boyfriend hopped in his car and drove around the neighborhood searching for the 5-year-old.
Only a couple of minutes passed before they got a phone call from the leasing office next door to their apartment complex.
Abney says they asked if they were Skylar’s parents and that she was with them in the office.
When they arrived, they were greeted by an employee and a man who took Skylar to the office.
Abney says the office had their contact information because it’s run by the same management company.
Skylar says once she got off the bus, she walked through the unfamiliar neighborhood looking for someone to help her when she found the man at the dog park.
“I told him can you please help me? He said yes, lets see what you have here. I let him check my (school bus) badge and then we went in,” she said.
Abney’s thankful that a person with good intentions found her daughter, because it would’ve been easy to snatch her up.
After picking her up, the family says it went to Skylar’s school, Point O’View Elementary to report what happened.
“When we got to the school, the bus driver was there with the two other students. He was like ‘oh you found her!’ Yeah, thank God we found her because if we didn’t find her, who knows where she would be,” Abney said.
Abney says that Skylar was sleeping on the bus and the driver woke her up at a stop where many kids who go to daycare after school get off. She says they said an employee with a clipboard took her and the driver didn’t check her badge, which states where her stop is located.
She’s frustrated because she says some at the school aren’t taking responsibility or taking it seriously, and are blaming other departments and the daycare for what happened.
“What if this lady with a clipboard wasn’t a part of this daycare? They could say that kid is with me. You didn’t check their tag. We couldn’t have seen my child again,” Abney said.
In a statement to 10 On Your Side, Virginia Beach Public Schools said:
“The safe and secure transport of our students is of utmost importance to us and we have processes and protocols in place. When these processes are not followed, there are consequences. The division is working to determine exactly what happened and to resolve Ms. Abney’s concerns. We attempted to meet with her several times and will continue to do so. We look forward to speaking with her soon.”
Abney says she went to the school today and waited to talk to administration, but no meeting occurred.
Skylar is no longer riding the bus because she’s afraid to do so, and the Abneys not only want the bus driver fired, but want other parents to use this as a lesson to put more detailed information on their own child’s badges so it won’t happen to them.