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‘I was panicked’: N.S. mother claims children were placed on wrong school bus
One parent says the school year has gotten off to a bumpy start after her kids failed to return home following their first day of school in Dartmouth.
“I was panicked. I was bawling my eyes out,” said mother Katie Caton. “My child was missing and I couldn't talk to anyone.”
Caton says her five-year-old son was put on the wrong bus, and was 20 minutes late as a result.
Then, her seven-year-old daughter didn't show up at all.
Caton tried calling Stock Transportation and the school, but ended up finding her daughter an hour later.
"My daughter told me her and two other boys were giving the bus driver directions because she was lost," Caton said.
Caton says her child was dropped off at a crosswalk near her house. She never had the chance to speak with the driver, either.
The mother of three says she’s had the same issue in the past. Three years ago after moving to the area, her older daughter was also dropped off at the wrong location.
She found her crying on the side of the road an hour later.
Caton says she’s had enough.
Other parents say they’ve faced similar situations. Tony White says after his children got on the bus, one was told to get off because the driver said he doesn’t drive to two schools anymore.
But White says that message wasn’t communicated to parents.
"If my kid’s not going on the same bus she's gone on every year, I think it’s important to get info out to parents," says White.
White ended up driving three other children, as well as his daughter to their school and says he's still waiting for confirmation of their schedule.
“I can understand why that would be very concerning for the student and their family,” said Doug Hadley, spokesperson for the Halifax Regional School Board, in a statement. “They should bring these concerns to both their school principal and Stock transportation. The Halifax Regional School Board expects that Stock will work quickly to address all concerns that are brought to their attention."
Stock Transportation is the sole provider for bussing students in the HRM. In a statement to CTV News, the company says, “We take all issues and concerns seriously and will work with parents to address."
The company says it can take seven-to-ten days to work out any issues in the system, and while they haven't talked to the families in this story, they do intend to reach out to them.
Parents are urged to contact the school or Stock Transportation if they have found themselves in similar situations.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Marie Adsett.