A North East Independent School District bus driver was placed on administrative leave with pay Thursday for not following district policy.
NEISD spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor said the district has launched an investigation after the driver allowed a 9-year-old boy to get off his bus at the wrong stop.
The Wetmore Elementary 4th grader's mother, Martha Munoz said she was terrified when her son didn't get off at his normal stop on a street corner in their neighborhood.
"Oh my God it's the worst feeling a mother can ever imagine," Munoz said.
Marcus Munoz, 9, was nowhere to be found. Munoz called friends in the neighborhood to make sure he didn't go home with one of his friends.
When she called the NEISD Transportation Department she was told her son was dropped off but they couldn't say exactly where he was.
"I just wanted to call for his name and the thought of knowing that something could have happened to my child was very scary," Munoz said.
It turns out Marcus fell asleep on the bus and missed his stop. When he woke up he told the driver what happened. When Marcus realized he was near the H-E-B where his grandmother works he asked the driver to let him get off so he could to the store.
The bus driver complied, allowing the boy to walk across a stretch of Thousand Oaks where there was no traffic light and no pedestrian crossing.
Fortunately the boy's grandmother was at work and immediately called her daughter.
Chancellor said according to district policy, the driver should have told the boy to stay on the bus and returned him to his regular bus stop.
"I'm really upset but I'm very grateful that nothing happened to my son," Munoz said. "(The driver) should have followed proper procedure, going back to the child's neighborhood dropping him off and making sure that the child was okay."
Chancellor said the driver was immediately placed on paid leave while the incident is investigated adding that there will be consequences for the driver's actions.
Munoz has mixed feelings about whether the driver should lose his job, but she hopes the district learns from this mistake.
"I just want to make sure that they're going to take the actions needed on their behalf to make sure they properly train their employees," Munoz said. "And make sure that this doesn't happen to any other child."