SAN BENITO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — It was heart racing moments for one San Benito couple after their young daughter did not make it home to her bus stop. The incident took place on the first day of school and the girl’s parents say they still have no answers from the school district.
“So, I mean, a whole bunch of protocols were broken,” SBCISD father Jesus Zambrano said.
At Dr. Cash Elementary in San Benito parents Jesus and Maria knew something wasn’t right when they got a call saying their youngest daughter Calei hadn’t arrived at her bus stop.
“She was scheduled to arrive at 3:30 she never arrived 4 o’clock came around 4:15pm finally she got ahold of us, hey what’s going on, you know she’s still not here,” Zambrano said.
The two say she was placed on the wrong bus, where she also fell asleep. Parents say she woke up extremely hot and arrived at the district’s bus barn with no one around.
Luckily, she was spotted by a different driver, and around 5:15pm was dropped off at her home.
“I mean she was scared, she heard voices, walked toward the voices and she said a different bus driver is the one that spotted her and started pointing to her that’s what got the actual bus driver that took her there to react,” Zambrano said.
Zambrano says he rushed home from work frantically looking for his young daughter. The two say they had an extremely hard time getting ahold of someone for answers.
They were told by school staff to log into the district’s “Smart tag” it’s an application where parents can track their child’s bus and transportation.
However, they kept getting an error message and they’re demanding answers. The district says they are aware of the situation.
In a statement, they say:
“Student safety is the highest priority for San Benito CISD, and the safe transportation of our students is a responsibility we take very seriously.”
“The District is aware of the incident involving a Dr. C.M. Cash Elementary 6-year-old student who, at about 4:15 PM, was inadvertently placed on the incorrect school bus after the first day of school – Monday, August 14.”
“During a routine end-of-route walk-through of the bus at 4:37 pm, the child was found to have been sleeping soundly on a seat in the air-conditioned bus. The bus driver immediately left the transportation department’s service center and, at 4:47 pm, safely delivered the child at the home address on record. At no time was the child left unattended.”
“School personnel are conducting a full review of our transportation department’s protocols to prevent a recurrence. All SBCISD campuses and our transportation department will continue to work together so that our students are safe when traveling to and from school. We appreciate everyone’s efforts to work with us in that process.”
The couple says the nearly two hours their daughter was gone brought them much fear.
“Then you got to explain, all this time has already passed we’re 10 minutes from the border these people don’t understand that they’re taking them over an hour to react when you’re 10 minutes from the border you know what I mean, your kid could be gone within 10 minutes,” Zambrano said.
They are happy their little girl is safe.
“Parents need to react fast the way we did, if not, if we wouldn’t react as fast as we did and contacted and bugged all the people that we did I don’t think that driver would have gone back and found her in that bus,” Zambrano said.