Parents and neighbors upset about children walking home from bus
LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -
Those students ranged in age from nine to fourteen years old and their parents and family members are speaking up.
Joaquin Tovar was supposed to be dropped off just a few feet from his house, but when he got home, "I asked him I was like why are you so sweaty? And he was like well the bus just left us like all the way over there," Crystal Valenzuela, his sister, said.
Tovar was dropped off at the intersection of High Street and Garfield Drive, in Longview.
"'Cuz one kid was acting up, and like he was doing something to one kid and the bus driver got really frustrated and dropped everyone off," Joaquin Tovar, who walked home, said.
Joaquin had to walk more than a mile and some of the other students had to walk even farther. According to the bus route more than half of the students on board were dropped off at the intersection and forced to find an alternate ride home.
"She had to call her parents to come pick her up from inside our store," Tammy Steinman, manager of The Family Dollar Store, on that street, said. She let the children call their parents and wait inside.
"It's appalling, because I couldn't imagine putting my children in care of somebody that would be willing to drop their kids off at an intersection like this where there's constant traffic," she said.
"What if a kid doesn't know how to get home, what if they get lost or, you know, want to get home and go knock on somebody's house and what if that person isn't safe and kidnaps them, and isn't the school supposed to, isn't that the whole reason of the bus, you know to make sure your kid gets home safely?" Valenzuela said.
Joaquin said another bus did come searching for the children, but he had been walking for thirty minutes and was already home. He said he was tired and hot.
"That's, that's really crazy, like my mom's really upset right now," his sister said.
As are many other parents and neighbors according to Joaquin.
An older student reported hearing the call for an additional bus on the radio while riding his bus home from high school, that day. The bus driver on his bus was shocked, he says.