School bus mix-up in Waterbury under investigation - WFSB 3 Connecticut

School bus mix-up in Waterbury under investigation

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Authorities are investigating after student from Driggs School got on the wrong bus Thursday. (WFSB) Authorities are investigating after student from Driggs School got on the wrong bus Thursday. (WFSB)
WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

A Waterbury mother wants answers after she said her 5-year-old son was dropped off at the wrong bus stop and lead to a search for the child on Thursday. 

While it turned out to have a happy ending, the Waterbury School District told Eyewitness News there will be a complete investigation into the incident.

The buses rolled out of Driggs Elementary School on Friday afternoon, but there was one youngster not on them.  

"He's not taking the Waterbury school bussed anymore,” Jeanette Pena previously told Eyewitness News when she was reunited with her son Jelijah on Thursday night.

Police said Jelijah was located on Lincoln Street in the Overlook section of Waterbury. He was found at a friend's house on the other side of town at 8 p.m., police said.

"They need to figure out what they're doing wrong,” Pena said. “Go over protocols with their bus drivers."

Thursday was Jelijah's first day at his new school and on that bus. But, he never got off at his stop on Robbins Street. That set off a search with family, friends, police officers and pleas on social media.

"Including a review of the procedures at the school, procedures of the bus company and the procedure of new students coming into a school and how they are to be delivered to their home,” Waterbury Public Schools Security and School Safety Coordinator John Herman said.

Pena said she has plenty of questions for that bus company Durham School Services.

"Cause if it's their child they wouldn't want to go through this whether it's for two hours or a lifetime,” Pena said.

Eyewitness News stopped by the Durham School Services Waterbury bus lot searching for answers.  No one there would talk to Eyewitness News.

Late Friday afternoon, Durham School Services sent Eyewitness News a statement.  

"Durham's top priority is the safety of the students we transport. We are happy that the child was found safe and unharmed. This is an ongoing investigation, but we can confirm that the child did get off at the wrong stop and as such we are working closely with the Board of Education to review policies and procedures to ensure this does not happen again," the statement said. 

As for the investigation, Pena’s best friend said family and friends just want to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone again.

"From kindergarten to 2nd grade, you are not allowed to get off the bus without your parent there, the appropriate person,” Stephanie Sanchez said. “Why was he allowed to get off at the wrong stop, with the wrong person in charge?  That's her question.  I think that's everybody's question."

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