HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — Bill Schwerin says he was shocked last month, when his son, Erik, was late coming home from Arrowwood Elementary School, in Highlands Ranch.
“The bus never showed up,” said Schwerin. “As a parent, I was worried.”
A day earlier, on October 8, the school district sent him an email explaining that Erik’s bus route would be suspended in about two weeks, on October 22.
“They discontinued it the day they sent the email,” said Schwerin, explaining that the email was misleading. “Not the 22nd like they said they were going to.”
Without knowing his route had been canceled, the second grader jumped onto another bus, which dropped him off more than a mile from his house.
The seven-year-old started walking, trying to find his way home. He ended up walking in a 1.2-mile loop, at times through heavy traffic.
“I found out that as he walked through here, this neighborhood, he had to walk past one sex offender’s house,” said Schwerin. “Then there was another sex offender, as he walked past Wildcat Reserve.”
Luckily, Erik’s mom went searching and found him safe, but “completely alone, worried.”
“He saw my wife and burst into tears,” said Schwerin.
Bill says that when he called the Douglas County School District, they did not apologize or give him an answer as to why the route was suspended well before it was expected to happen.
“We didn’t get anything. The best they told us is ‘we dropped him off here at this intersection, you should be able to find him,’” said Schwerin.
When we reached out to the school district, a spokesperson responded with this statement:
“The safety of our students is always a primary concern. We take an incident like this very seriously. We have re-instated the bus stop and taken precautions to ensure this does not happen again.”
When we asked if he’d let Erik on the bus again, Bill said “probably not.”