School bus drops 5-year-old student over a mile from home

LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — A Loveland mother is pushing for answers from Thompson School District after her 5-year-old son got on the wrong bus and was dropped off over a mile from his home.

It happened on Wednesday afternoon. Ponderosa Elementary kindergartner Kyler Barker was supposed to be dropped off near Nucla Avenue, just a street up from his family’s home. It was the third day of school, and his mother, Nicole Barker, was waiting on him there when she got a phone call from the school district.

That phone call was to tell her Kyler had gotten on the wrong bus and was dropped off at the wrong stop.

“I can’t really convey what happened to me in that moment. I almost, like, blacked out, because like it was terrifying, as you can imagine for any parent. And it was just like, what do you mean? Like what does that mean?” Baker said.

Mom wants answers from Thompson School District

The stop where Kyler was dropped off alone was nearly a mile and a half down the road from his correct stop. Thankfully, there were moms there who recognized Kyler was alone and contacted the district.

Barker said two other students on his correct bus alerted their driver that Kyler wasn’t on board, but nothing was done.

Kyler, though, is more vulnerable than the average 5-year-old.

“He’s autistic. He’s high-functioning, but of course, that adds another layer of, like, how I didn’t know how he would respond or react to a situation like that. And what if those women weren’t there? And he’s just left standing on the street by himself? Anybody could have grabbed him,” Barker said.

The school district released a statement to FOX31 about the incident:

“The district commenced an investigation soon after it became aware of this incident. Our school and transportation staff have been working with the family. We are evaluating our procedures to ensure that no adjustments need to be made.”

Thompson School District

Even though the situation was sorted out, Barker wants more accountability from the school district’s transportation department.

“Honestly, the school was very kind to me, very apologetic. I could tell they wanted to take some steps to fix this and make sure it doesn’t happen again, but transportation kind of left me with, ‘We’re not perfect, we try to be,’” Barker said.

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