4-year-old girl left at the wrong school bus stop in Mississauga
Published September 18, 2023 at 3:43 pm
A Mississauga mother is raising the alarm after her four-year-old daughter was left at the wrong school bus stop.
The four-year-old girl just started Junior Kindergarten at Burnham Public School and took her first school bus ride on Tuesday, Sept. 12 when she was dropped at the wrong stop on the way home, her mother, Juliana Gill, tells insauga.com.
“I don’t understand how can something like this happen,” Gill says. “You’re not delivering packages, these are human beings, you can’t just leave them wherever.”
For the first week of school, the family dropped their daughter off and picked her up because she wasn’t registered for the bus yet, Gill says.
But after the teacher explained how the bus works, the family decided to try it. Gill says she was told it was safe, students have a tag with information about their bus stop.
Also, students aren’t supposed to be left at the stop if there is no parent or guardian waiting there to pick them up.
“She assured me she said, ‘If there’s no parent waiting at the bus stop, the bus driver will not let the child off the bus,'” she says.
So, on Tuesday afternoon, Gill’s mother and the girl’s grandmother got to the bus stop early but when the bus arrived, the four-year-old wasn’t there. According to Gill, the bus driver didn’t offer to help and indicated that there were too many kids to keep track.
The grandparents, very upset at this point, drove to the school but the girl wasn’t there either and no one knew where she was.
“They were freaking out.”
But a short time later, the family learned the girl got off the bus early at 4050 Dixie Rd. with other students and followed them to an apartment building. The bus driver did not check her tag to ensure she was getting off at the right stop, Gill says.
Luckily, the management from the building complex noticed the girl didn’t live there and appeared to be alone. They contacted the school and the school contacted Gill.
“I thank God for them because who knows where she would have ended up,” she says.
In an emailed response, the Peel District School Board said student safety is their top priority, including when students are utilizing bussing services.
“We are aware of this incident and have conducted an investigation into the matter,” a board spokesperson said. “We’re committed to working with our bus providers to ensure our students have the safest and best possible service.”
The board also suggested insauga.com contact the bus provider, Student Transportation of Peel Region (STOPR), for more information about the incident and next steps. STOPR directed insauga.com back to the board.
For now, Gill says they are picking up their daughter from school and they have lodged complaints with the school board and STOPR. She wants assurances that actions are being taken to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
“Because this cannot happen again, not to my daughter, it shouldn’t happen to any other kids.”insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising