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Bus driver mix-up leaves kindergartener 10 miles from home

Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson

Bus driver mix-up leaves kindergartener 10 miles from home

By Naturally Moi

A Buffalo, N.Y. mother was outraged on Tuesday when her son was dropped off at the wrong location. It was the first day of kindergarten for Valencia Bates’ five-year-old son, Jon Anderson, at Central Charter in Buffalo. Instead of being returned to his home in Blasdell, N.Y., Jon was left 10 miles from home outside of an apartment complex in Cheektowaga.

Jon was not left in the care of any adult, so the child wandered around aimlessly distraught, crying and alone. A passerby saw Jon and called 911. Two hours later he was returned to his mother’s care.

Bus transport is arranged by the West Seneca School District. The district has acknowledged that the bus driver broke policy by dropping Jon off by himself. According to their protocol, if there is no parent present, then the child is not let off of the bus until a parent is available.

According to Dr. Mark Crawford, the Superintendent of the school district, the bus driver had mistaken Jon Anderson for another boy that has his first name. The other child had been absent on Tuesday, which led to the bus driver’s mix-up. Still, Bates worried about her missing five-year-old for hours before anyone could tell her where he was.

Valencia Bates is a bus driver herself, so it’s hard for her to fathom how such a mistake and breach of protocol could have occurred. The driver’s mix-up has a greater affect than broken protocol. The driver abandoned someone’s child in the middle of nowhere. Both the child and the mother were greatly affected by this incident. Bates says, ”My baby sat on the curb and cried. When he saw me, when I came out of the police station I told him ‘I love you so much.’ I was lost. Anyone could have gotten Jon. Anybody not in their right mind could have got my baby.”


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