ELK GROVE (CBS13) — An 8-year-old living with severe autism was dropped off at the wrong school by an Elk Grove Unified bus driver with no way to ask for help.

Julie Munoz said her daughter Gabby was supposed to be dropped off at Carroll Elementary in Elk Grove but was dropped off less than a mile away at Franklin Elementary instead.

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“What happened, it struck a huge nerve with us,” she said.

Julie says her daughter is non-verbal.

“Gabby, she thought she was just on an adventure,” Julie said.

Gabby got off the bus and was found wandering around campus.

“They only discovered who she was because her name was written inside her backpack,” Julie said.

Gabby wears a special vest so drivers know she needs special attention. But because of a bus driver shortage, her mom says she’s been picked up by different substitute drivers almost every other day—drivers who Julie says don’t know how to keep Gabby safe.

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“They have to have good people in this role so this doesn’t happen,” Julie said.

Other parents say that after this incident, they’ll think twice before putting their kids on a school bus.

“I’m not putting her on the bus now. I’d rather go through the struggle of school traffic and wait and wait,” said Rachel Hyde.

The district says it’s about 35 drivers short at last check this month.

Julie says she, too, is keeping Gabby off the bus and worries this story could’ve ended up much worse.

“I was just hoping some changes can be made widespread with the district that can ensure these kids’ safety because every single day we shouldn’t have to worry whether our kids are safe at school,” she said.

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The Elk Grove School District Issued the following statement:

“On Wednesday morning, 10/27, during supervised student bus drop, school officials at Franklin Elementary school noticed a student who mistakenly deboarded their bus. School officials attempted to call out to the student as the student appeared confused, yet the student continued to progress onto campus. As soon as all students were safely in school, teachers notified the school’s administration that a Carroll Elementary student was on campus. School officials promptly notified Transportation, the student’s family and the administration team at Carroll Elementary School.

The student was never in harm’s way and was at all times safe within the gates of Franklin Elementary School. Teachers followed their check-in protocols and swiftly worked with the site administration team to correct the situation. Events like this are quickly resolved thanks to multiple check-in systems and procedures at every elementary school.

Appropriate action has been taken to review bus drop-off protocols with the applicable personnel.”