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OPS bus problems linger

Kindergarteners left wandering for an hour
Posted at 9:16 PM, Sep 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-06 22:16:13-04
Another bussing mix-up in Omaha Public Schools left a five-year-old wandering for more than one hour. 
 
The incident happened Friday. Today the little boy's family is demanding answers. Reporter Emily Szink has the story. 
 
Here is the stop where Mitchell and his kindergarden class mate should be dropped off each evening at 4:30. Last Friday that was definitely not the case and it has both families frantic.
 
Cher Smith says the issues with her five year old grandson Mitchell's school bus started last week when his normal driver took a leave of absence. On Thursday the bus was an hour late. On Friday it never arrived "I'm told they're given a route sheet and she point blank didn't follow it, she didn't come up this street at all" Smith says after waiting for the kindergardener for more than an hour..she went searching for him. "They were way at the end of this street blocks and blocks"
 
Mitchell told his grandma the bus driver got to 53rd and R streets and told the remaining six kids to get off the bus. Mitchell was blocks from his normal stop. "One of the children who lived at that last spot said come with me and I thanked her from the bottom of my heart cause who knows where they would have ended up"
 
One mother walked the children around to see if any of them recognized their homes. Two of the kids were three miles from home. Smith says she wants to get to the bottom of the mishap because something much worse could have happened "In a situation like that he said I just wanted somebody to take me home and I fear he would ask anybody please take me home."
 
On Tuesday she finally got a supervisor from Student Transportation of America on the phone to ease some of her fears. "Will it be a new driver this week?" In a statement Omaha Public Schools said:  "We are aware of the situation and are currently looking into it with Student Transportation of America to find out exactly what happened, why it happened and determine what can be done to avoid a situation like this in the future. We will also be working directly with the family." Smith said "Im hoping that they can be more alert of the children they have of the houses that they actually reside in"
 
Smith tells KMTV that Student Transportation informed her that swift disciplinary action has been taken against the driver who made the mistake, but they couldn't elaborate.  Today her grandson's bus only arrived ten minutes late.