NATOMAS (CBS13) — A Natomas child was lost during a school bus drop-off mix-up.
Five-year-old Myah Fisher was dropped off at the wrong location by a school bus on her first day of summer school. She was eventually safely reunited with her family, who is very relieved but angry Myah child could go missing while in the care of school district staff.
Marchaunte Fisher, Myah’s mom, says, “She could’ve ended up anywhere.”
On Monday, Myah became lost because of a major mix-up with Natomas Unified School Transportation.
“They dropped me off at the wrong school,” Myah said.
It happened on Myah’s first day of summer school at Bannon Creek Elementary in Natomas.
“It was very, very scary,” said Myah.
The bus was supposed to drop Myah off at her after-school program at Heron Elementary. Marchaunte says she even quadrupled checked with the transportation department to confirm the plans, but when she went to pick her daughter up, Myah wasn’t there. It turns out, she and another little boy had been dropped off at H. Allen Hight Elementary, which is closed for the summer.
“I immediately just left and ran to the school, driving around frantically looking for her,” says Marchaunte.
Meanwhile, a good Samaritan noticed Myah wandering on a bike trail and crying hysterically five blocks from where she’d been dropped off. Myah says she had decided to walk home but forgot which way to go. The woman put Myah in her car and drove to H. Allen Hight, where Marchaunte was still searching.
“The first thing she said to me when she got out the car was, ‘I thought I was never gonna see you again,’ and as a mom that hurts because you can’t protect her,” said Marchaunte.
School and transportation officials have apologized for the mix-up, but Marchaunte says it’s not enough.
“They’re not gonna watch out for your children,” she said.
Thankfully little Myah is safe but understandably says she never wants to get lost again.
“It’s not an adventure,” said Myah.
The school district released a statement saying:
Natomas Unified operates an elementary summer school program to help students catch up or stay on track academically for fall classes. Busing is provided as a convenience to families. A mistake was made Monday by our transportation department in which two young students were let off a bus at the wrong school location, without parents there to pick them up. Fortunately, the children were reunited safely with their families. Natomas Unified has communicated with and apologized to the families involved. Safety of our students is our top priority, so we have taken immediate steps to ensure this does not happen again, including:
Assigning an aide to each school bus to assist with student drop-off.
Reviewing all routing manifests and itineraries to confirm drop-off points for all students.
Issuing bus passes containing student photos to summer school riders. This will assist bus drivers and aides in tracking student boarding and drop-off. Transportation Department contact information is on the passes.
The intent of our summer school and busing program is to keep students from falling behind in school and to help them reach their academic potential. With the transportation department changes listed above, Natomas Unified will continue providing summer academic assistance in the weeks ahead in keeping with our board-approved vision of college and career readiness.
Marchaunte says she still doesn’t know how or why this happened but is glad things didn’t turn out much worse.