Dad finds son lost wandering Pontiac after school bus mix-up

Posted at 6:29 PM, Sep 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-06 18:29:50-04

A dad wants to know why his son was not only put on the wrong school bus on the first day of school, but dropped  off in a strange neighborhood to wander lost,  past abandoned buildings and God knows what else.

It happened in Pontiac.  Andre Walker says he waited for his 7-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son at their bus stop on Marshall Street.  When the bus arrived he realized his son was missing.

“Where is my kid?”  Walker says he asked the bus driver. 

The bus driver didn’t have an answer and told him to call the school.  Andre Walker called Owen Elementary, but says he couldn’t get through on the phone right away.

“I jumped in my car and took off.  I went to the school to see where he was. I thought maybe he missed the bus,” said Walker.

When he finally got through to someone he learned his son got on the wrong bus and was dropped off blocks away. No one knew where he was. The dad drove block after block, searching for him.

He says he feared his worst fears as he drove.

“Where is he? You see kids on a milk carton all the time.  Missing. I didn’t know what to think or expect. You don’t want to come home without your kid.”

This dad says he found his son completely lost.  He had walked at least 8 blocks from where he got off the bus, in the opposite direction of home. He was terrified.

He told his dad a school worker wrote the wrong bus  on his hand. This dad says the school needs to review its processes to improve how it communicates what buses children should be on. 

“Have some kind of better system,” said Walker.

The Pontiac School District says the mix up happened because the boy arrived at school on another bus after missing his and was accidentally directed to get on the bus he arrived on.  The school is working to make sure it doesn't happen again. The school ordered bus passes for students for bus drivers to cross check. Those passes would list what buses students are supposed to take. They didn't get in in time for the first day of school. Those will be distributed and bus drivers are being reminded to check records as they drop children off.