HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) – A young mother is deeply concerned after her preschooler was dropped off at the wrong bus stop twice in less than a week.
Administrators at Hopewell City Public Schools said they were aware of both incidents and are taking corrective action, but according to Clarice Fayton, that is what she was told the first time her 3-year-old was left in an unfamiliar place.
“My child could’ve been missing; he could’ve been dead somewhere,” Fayton said. “I’m very upset and angry.”
On September 9, her son, Jayceon, was on a bus from his preschool program at the Woodlawn Learning Center to the Good 4 Kidz daycare.
“The tag exactly says where he’s supposed to go after school,” Fayton said while holding up a large tag attached to Jayceon’s book bag.
Without checking his tag, the driver let the 3-year-old out more than a block away near an apartment complex. A stranger found the preschooler and brought him to the daycare where he belonged.
“She said he was dropped off at the end of the street and just walking around,” said Tammy Kilby, who works at the daycare. “Anyone could get him.”
Daycare workers called Fayton immediately.
“Of course mother was not happy,” Kilby said. “We weren’t happy.”
The mother was quick to let administrators know what happened.
“They apologized that it would never happen again,” Fayton said. “I agreed to let him go back to the school on the bus, and then I turned around and it happened again yesterday!”.
The second time, Jayceon was left near his home, miles away from his daycare. A neighbor recognized the boy and returned him to his mother. Fayton said one mistake is one too many, and that twice is unacceptable.
“I’m not going to give them a third time,” she said. “The third time’s not going to be so lucky.”
Hopewell City Public Schools said they are investigating the incidents and doubling down on student release protocol, providing extra training to drivers and bus aides.
An administrator told 8News the school system is implementing a check-on, check-off system for preschoolers, adding they’re grateful Jayceon was unharmed.