Parents concerned over transportation mix-up at school

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

A 6-year-old girl was nowhere to be found when her parents arrived to pick her up from school.

It was Mariah’s first year of school at J. Colin English Elementary School in North Fort Myers. She has health-related issues, so her parents opted for an after-school program instead of letting her ride the bus, but Mariah ended up on the bus, dropped off with no one there to pick her up.

Mariah is doing OK now, but her mother is upset that the mix-up occurred, leading to what she describes as a terrifying situation.

“My husband goes to pick her up at school this afternoon. And they said, ‘What do you mean she’s not here? What do you mean, she’s not here?'” said MaryAnn Hallock, Mariah’s mother. “I got a lady on the phone, and she said, ‘Ma’am, I’m radioing all of the buses to pull over right now. We don’t know where she is.'”

Hallock said officials from the school eventually told her that Mariah was dropped off at a bus stop by a community near their residence, but when her parents arrived, Mariah was not there.

Hallock said that Mariah has disabilities.

“I walked home by myself, on the grass; nobody was there to pick me up,” Mariah said. “It’s awful. It’s the worst feeling ever. I don’t ever want to experience it again.”

Now Hallock is nervous about sending Mariah back to school, saying she wants assurances that the breakdown in communication won’t happen again.

Hallock said she will try to set up a meeting this week with officials from the school to make sure Mariah ends up in the after-school program.

WINK News reached out to the district for a response and has not heard back yet.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.