CLINTON, Md. - Tuesday was the first day of school in Prince George’s County. Thousands of kids piled onto and off of school buses. It should all operate like a well-oiled machine with each child safe and accounted for. For at least two families that wasn't the case.
“The trust is broken at this point with the school,” said Willie Galtney.
Willie and Denora Galtney signed up their 6-year-old daughter Sydney for after school care. They are supposed to pick her up after they get off work. Instead, as soon as classes ended at Clinton Grove Elementary School, Sydney was placed on a school bus.
The teachers have a list of students’ home addresses so she was at least dropped off in her own neighborhood.
“I recognized my neighborhood,” she told us.
Sydney knew how to get to her house, but she arrived to a locked door and no cars in the driveway.
“I got scared really bad,” she said.
Sydney said she stood on the steps for a while until she spotted a teenage girl she recognized from across the street.
“I saw her walking and then I went up to her and said, ‘Can you call your daddy to call my daddy?’ Sydney said.
“After he called me, I actually called the school because I wanted to speak with the principal to find out if she was aware of what happened,” said the girl’s mother. “I was told, ‘Oh, she has a situation right now.’
“They got back to me and said, ‘Can you hold a little bit longer?’ Little did I know that the other situation was the other child they were looking for.”
“She basically told me she was driving around searching for the child,” said Willie Galtney. “The child was found at a neighbor’s house.”
A school spokesperson confirmed a kindergarten boy from Clinton Grove was also put on the wrong bus.
She said in a statement, “Prince George's County Public Schools deeply regrets this incident occurred. While this is unusual for the school, supervisory personnel will be on site at Clinton Grove Elementary to ensure the dismissal process runs smoothly and students are safely transported to the correct location.”
“When you drop your kid off at school, they are kind of like the parents for the day,” said Denora Galtney. “Your expectations that they are going to be responsible and accountable for your child and I don't feel like they were yesterday.”
We have not been able to speak with the parents of the kindergarten boy, but the school assured FOX 5 that he was found safe and unharmed by a neighbor.
They say they will be checking and triple checking to make sure this does not happen again.