Education

Middleton bus company mum on how it left 5-year-old at wrong spot

Kansas City Star/MCT

A bus company that transports up to 1,700 students a day to Middleton schools declined Wednesday to explain how a 5-year-old was let off at the wrong stop on the first day of school Monday.

“We talked to the bus drivers,” said Steve Vis, Middleton Bus Co. manager. “They all understand what they are supposed to do. I don’t have a comment at this time.”

Middleton Bus Co. contracts with the school district for about $1 million a year. Its current five-year contract is up in 2018, said Darren Uranga, district director of finance.

Elaine Brown, the boy’s mother, told KIVI-TV on Tuesday that her son was put on the wrong bus and dropped off near the front of the family’s subdivision. He was supposed to be let off the bus at a day-care center.

“He was scared, he was crying and shaking, and he kept telling the bus driver that this wasn’t his spot,” Brown said.

Brown’s daughter, who is in middle school, discovered him on her way home from school.

“He could have gotten hit by a car, he could have gotten kidnapped,” Brown told KIVI.

When she called the bus company, she said she was told that the buses have to meet a schedule, KIVI reported. She said the company apologized.

Josh Middleton, district superintendent, talked to the mother Wednesday morning and apologized. “Whenever there is not a safe delivery to the designated spot, that is obviously a huge concern,” he said.

Middleton also spoke with Vis and expressed concern about what happened. The district doesn’t operate the buses so it doesn’t have control over how the company handles the problem internally, he said.

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