Mix-up leads to 6-year-old student lost, alone after getting off at wrong bus stop

SAN ANTONIO – A Northside Independent School District parent is using her hard lesson learned to help other parents avoid the same scary scenario she experienced.

Gloria Reyna said her 6-year old daughter was lost and alone, roaming the streets around Denman Estate Park when she got off the wrong bus stop.

It was only Reyna's daughter's third time on the bus she was still learning where to find her stop.

“The thought of something happening to her, if I was going to find her alive or dead,” Reyna said.

When her daughter didn’t get off the bus where Reyna was waiting, she called the school district and police.

The first-grader was about a half-mile away from her stop,when two women found her near the park.  

“They noticed something was wrong because they noticed a little girl walking around. They say she was crying a bit," Reyna said.

The district said several factors contributed to the Mead Elementary School student getting lost. The student was on the right bus, but she exited the bus before her stop.

Statement from Northside ISD:

“There was a substitute bus driver that day, the student was relatively new to the bus, and a friend of the student who normally got off at the same location was absent. We take this matter very seriously. Campus and district staff have been in contact with the parent to address the incident. We are committed to taking necessary steps to prevent this from happening again. The safety of students is our priority.”

Reyna thinks the district needs to have a better system to ensure young children like hers won’t get lost.

“Ask the school district to maybe have more assistance for the bus driver. I know their focus is to drive the student, but with so many kids in the bus, they need that extra help — who's in who's out. They're only 5 and 11 years old. They can get lost easily," she said.

Reyna's daughter is shaken up and won’t be taking the bus again the remainder of this school year.

Northside ISD suggests the following guidelines for parents:

  • We always encourage parents to be on site at designated bus stops to drop off and pick up their children.

  • We identify all Pre-K students for our drivers. (It is District policy that parents of Pre-K students must be at a bus stop before the child will be allowed off of the bus.)

  • We encourage parents to teach their children home address and contact information.

  • We encourage children to utilize a buddy system - whether with a sibling or a friend - not only at bus stops but also on the bus.

  • We ask that parents remind children that if they forget their stop or are not comfortable getting off of a bus, that they tell the driver. Drivers are trained to notify their station manager for assistance.

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