Mother says child not dropped off at after care - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Mother says child not dropped off at after care

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A Port St. Lucie mother said someone dropped the ball when her five year old daughter didn't arrive at after care at the time see was supposed to.

Audrey Ziegler said last Wednesday, her daughter was supposed to be dropped out at Firehouse after care, but when the girl's grandparents came to her at 4:30, they realized she wasn't there. Her mother said she was still on a St. Lucie County school bus, asleep, and wants to know how that could happen.

" I was for two days sick to my stomach with the what if’s," she said. "I’m a very fortunate mother who did not end up with a tragic story."

Ziegler said her daughter didn't arrive at the after care until about 5 o'clock.

"At 4:30 in the afternoon I received a call from the aftercare provider advising me that her grandparents had arrived to pick her up and they thought she was with me," said Ziegler. "There was a little bit of a scuffle, then oh we’ve located her she fell asleep on a school bus and the buss driver is going to bring her back."

Ziegler went on to say, " I said well was she checked in and she said no. I said well it’s been an hour and she goes she’s on the bus she’s safe she’s on her way here."

The mother told WPTV Newschannel 5 she's not placing the blame with the school district. She wants to know why she wasn't notified immediately.

"If anything, I was grateful for the bus driver because he was the one who notified them hey there is a child on the bus I’m going to bring her back to you," said Ziegler.

Traci Helton, the CEO of the Fire House youth center told us her staff followed the law and did not break protocol.

We asked her who drooped the ball and she answered, "Well we are not transporting. All I can say about that is you’re going to have to figure that out on your own. If the bus is coming to our door and we cannot legally get on a bus that’s not ours I don’t know how it became our responsibility."

She went on to say she would have loved to call earlier but the rate they unload buses doesn't allow for that. Helton said they are now looking at texting software that would alert parents immediately when their child does or does not get off the school bus.

Ziegler said her daughter now attends a different school and after care program. The St. Lucie County school district said they are researching the incident, but said it is their policy for the bus driver to check to make sure no child is left behind on a bus.
 

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