5-year-old dropped off at school bus alone in Matthews
CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - A 5-year-old was dropped off at the wrong bus stop, alone. But it's where she went next that made her parents cringe.
"I don't understand!! What do you mean you picked up my daughter…where are you??" Toni Holland, the child's mother said.
Holland told FOX 46 Charlotte she was at work when a stranger called saying they picked up her daughter walking alone on Council Road.
"To her it was an adventure…but to us it was a nightmare," Holland explained.
Five-year-old Ryan Holland knew she was dropped off at the wrong bus stop when no adult was there to pick her up after school.
"First I got off the bus, then I ran upstairs, then I knocked on the door and no one was home," Ryan Holland said.
Little Ryan was supposed to be on a different bus headed to her aunt's house where she gets dropped off every afternoon.
After realizing she was in the wrong place, she started walking to her aunt's house eight miles away.
"She could have been kidnapped…she could have been hit by a car…she could have just gone missing," Ryan's mother said.
Holland said a couple driving found her 5-year-old daughter walking on the road alone and headed towards I-485.
"She didn't want to get in the car, she said she can walk…but he said 'I have children and I just can't leave you alone we want to make sure you are safe'..." Holland said.
CMS Transportation Policy states that students K-12 may be discharged without the presence of an adult.
"They told me it is okay to leave a kindergartener alone without a parent to pick them up…which just boggles my mind," Holland said.
FOX 46 Charlotte reached out to CMS who released this statement saying:
'CMS is always concerned about the safety of all students on our school buses. The district will look into the situation. Asking the parent to complete a report with our transportation department is our best system of addressing the issue."
Ryan's parents are determined to change the policy so another 5-year-old is not left alone at the wrong bus stop again.