Officials at a Georgia elementary school are apologizing to a concerned father after he said that his 5-year-old daughter had been left behind by school bus drivers three times. Video footage showed Tristan King confronting staff at Norton Elementary school in Snellville after learning that the school bus driver had driven off without his young daughter yet again.
He told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his fourth-grade son called him in a alarm with the news.
“He called us yell that his sister wasn’t on the bus and they wouldn’t wait for her or let him off to find her,” King told the publication. Fed up, King went to the school on Feb. 28 looking for answers and wrote in a social media post that school officials peril to ban him from the property unless he had a p-lice escort.
“The first time I was calm and understanding, because I understand it could happen,” King is heard explaining in the video. “The second time, I was mad but I let it go. The third time my son called me from the bus crying, yell, talking about he don’t know where his sister is.”
King’s wife added to the officials: “My son told them to stop. He said, ‘don’t pull off. I cannot leave without my sister.’ And they told them to leave anyway. My son was on the bus yell and crying and y’all still told the bus to pull off.” The video has been viewed more than two million times and has amassed more than 34,000 shares. School officials have apologized to King for the incident, Roach tells PEOPLE. In a letter to parents, Principal Melanie Lee said that King’s daughter was not lost but simply missed the school bus.
“It is reasonable for a parent or sibling who does not know where the child is to be worried and upset,” Lee wrote in the March 7 letter obtained by PEOPLE. “There is no question that ensuring that students get to and from school safely is the school and school system’s responsibility. “Mr. King had every right to be upset and the whole thing wasn’t handled well,” Sloan Roach, a spokeswoman for Gwinnett County Public Schools, told the publication. “School officials have reviewed things on their end and some new policies and procedures have been put in place.”
School officials have arranged to have King’s daughter and son escorted to the bus each day and Roach says the new system “is working well.” However, King told the Journal-Constitution that the plan was followed for only a few weeks before procedure went back to the way it had been. He said the issue has not been completely resolved. “I haven’t spoken to anyone,” he told the publication. “I’m worried that this is an epidemic that has been swept under the rug.”
Olivia – When he said “MY BABY” I felt that too hard, I wish I could have had a dad who cared enough to speak out and stand up for me when I was scared all my life. They are right to be upset, and I’m glad they got to tell them off a bit, that’s awful.
Orianna Anthony – The father is right , when a parent left their kids in the school custody its the teachers and principal school bus driver responsibility to take care of the kids.
The kids is in their custody, they suppose to make sure all kids are present inside of the school bus, classroom, school trip etc..
Cowboy Doggo – My dad was late to pick me up one day, the ladies in the office told that I “had to go leave” in a very condescending tone. I was nervous so I walked a long distance from the school to the regular bus stop and I got on the bus alone and rode all the way from the school to my house. This was in Los Angeles and I could’ve been easily taken. This was also in elementary as a 5th grader.
Anima Animus – I’m a child therapist and have worked in a bunch of schools and EVERY CHILD is YOUR responsibility until you know they are safely handed off. I would have NEVER looked over a kid, and you especially attend to the little ones! I bet that baby was scared and it turns my stomach! And then to trespass the FATHER? Mistakes happen but they can’t happen with our children. THREE DAMN TIMES?! I think we all need to come together and put some pressure on that school!
Siren Sings – Oh no.
Those parents have EVERY RIGHT to be as mad as they are! They are leaving their children in these teachers’ care, and they’re expected to keep up with ALL OF THE KIDS. I worked at a daycare and you BET I’d wait for every single child to be picked up and accounted for! SMH