BOISE, Idaho — The new school year is officially underway, but for some students and parents that can be a little stressful, especially for one kindergartener.
The mother that kindergartner is now looking for answers, after she says her son got off at the wrong bus stop. Allison Pugh's son, Charlie, is riding the school bus this year for the first time, but he’s already had a terrifying experience.
“His friend next to him said, 'This is your stop and he asked his friend 'it is?' and then he said, 'She yelled at me and said hurry get off,' so he jumped up and unknown to the bus driver and anyone else he got off,” Pugh said.
It was a terrifying experience for both Charlie and Allison.
“I never thought I would see my mom again,” Charlie said.
A woman saw Charlie crying and helped him get a hold of his mom. Fortunately, Charlie knew his mom's phone number.
What happened to Charlie is something Eric Exline, the spokesperson for West Ada School District, says he hears about every year around this time.
Currently, there are protocols when it comes to ensuring students get off at the right bus stops. For example, when it comes to midday pickups and drop-offs, school bus drivers will pick up and drop off a kindergartner at their home.
“End of the day is harder, we’ll drop them off at their regular stop as long as their accompanied by older children,” Exline said.
Bus drivers also have a list of all of the kids on the buses, according to the West Ada School District.
“First week of school a bus stop has 120 new kids that they've never met before and a bus driver is trying to help them, but that's where we need everybody to help,” Exline said.
Parents can also fill out bus passes and put it in their student's backpack to let the driver know if they're getting off at the right stop.
As for Charlie and Allison, the mother of three is sharing their story in hopes that this will prevent another child from getting off at the wrong stop.
“The bus system has been here forever so how we're still having yearly kids getting lost is really terrifying to me,” Pugh said.