FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – A Fayetteville kindergarten student was missing for about an hour Thursday afternoon after getting on the wrong bus, despite wearing a tag meant to prevent such instances.
The six-year-old boy was discovered in his home about an hour after his mother and aunt noticed he was missing, having walked home after being dropped off at the wrong bus stop, the boy’s family said. His aunt said it’s “dumb luck” he was able to make it home safely.
Police were not called because the boy was discovered before administrators considered that an option, a school district spokesman said.
Owl Creek School student Tracy was waiting in his bus line outside of the school around 2:55 p.m. Thursday. A “D1” tag pinned on his backpack noted which bus he was supposed to get on. Instead, the boy veered onto a different bus, the “R” line, his family told 5NEWS.
The school district spokesman said he could not answer whether it is anyone’s responsibility to make sure students’ tags match their bus. The boy’s aunt, Jeanette Smith, told 5NEWS she does not know why the school district even has bus tags if no one is supposed to check them.
Tracy does not usually ride the bus and was supposed to get on the “D1” bus in order to be dropped off at his cousin’s house. Instead, the wrong bus dropped him off on Harvard Street, where the six year old walked from the bus stop to his home, where he was later discovered by family members.
The school district spokesman said he does not know why the boy was dropped off at that location. Smith said the school district and Tracy’s family got lucky. The next student who goes missing because of being dropped off at the wrong place may not be so lucky, she said.
Smith said she and the boy’s mother are still waiting for answers from the school district. She said the school’s principal promised the situation would not happen again, but she said the school district did not admit any blame in the incident.