BRYAN CO., GA (WTOC) - Bryan County parents are upset and want answers after they say children were dropped off at a busy intersection instead of their bus stops.
Two moms said their kids were among five let off of a school bus at a red light at the intersection of US Highway 280 and Georgia State Route 119. Shea Lavant says her daughter was dropped off at an intersection by her Bryan County school bus on Monday.
Lavant says for an hour and a half, she didn't know where her 8-year-old daughter Jeryn was. She says her daughter was put onto the wrong bus at school.
Lavant says the district typically brings children back to their schools when this happens, but instead, her daughter's bus driver told the five students on the bus to get off. She says she's not upset her daughter was allowed on to the wrong bus, but says not bringing her back to school is unacceptable.
"This bus driver put her off at a red light in the middle of traffic, and anything could have happened," Lavant said. "God knows. I thank God nothing happened, but anything could have happened in between that red light and her going wherever, being picked up by whomever. That's just – it still has me shaking. It's scary."
Fifth grader Zymyia Bostick was one of those students and says the experience made her mad and scared.
"She told us to get off the bus, and she had put us off on the side of the road where all the cars were," Zymyia said.
Monique Bostick, Zymyia's mother, said parents put their child's life in a bus driver's hands until they get home and said dropping them off elsewhere is unsafe.
"It's scary because anything can happen," she said. "Anything. Matter of fact, one of them is a second grader, so she's not familiar with crossing the streets alone and all that type of stuff, you know what I'm saying? It's really not safe at all, and from the distance from home to where they were dropped off, anything could happen."
Bryan County Superintendent Paul Brooksher says he hasn't heard anything about children being dropped off at a red light, but if it did happen, it wouldn't be tolerated.
However, Lavant said she's already been in contact with the district, and said their reaction was underwhelming.
"When I contacted the board of education, instead them bringing me in and them sitting me down and talking to me or my child, I just got a phone call saying that they apologize for what happened, that the bus driver was reprimanded and that they hoped the school year got better," Lavan said. "That's just not acceptable."
He says student safety at bus stops is a top priority for the district. Brooksher said pre-kindergarten students are not dropped off without an adult present, children are only dropped off curbside, so they don't have to walk around the school bus, and students in kindergarten thought fifth grade are tagged with their bus number to avoid confusion.
"I was OK knowing that she was on a particular bus," Lavant said. "The policy is if they aren't dropped off at home that they're returned to the school, so I was just under the assumption that, OK, she's not home. They'll just take her back to the school. They did not do that, and that's what infuriates me."
Brooksher said the district doesn't have a written policy to drop students back off at the school building, but it is a typical procedure throughout the district.
He the district is still working out the kinks in its bus routes, and asks parents to be patient until they become routine.
Lavant wants action now.
"My best solution (is) this driver does not need to be driving at all anymore," Lavan said. 'She needs to be terminated. My honest opinion. And from here on out, the elementary school – because these are still 10 year olds an under- there needs to be some type of labeling policy or something that allows them to get on the proper bus and make sure that they are delivered to the proper address, not just dropped off somewhere."