Orange Unified School District mom furious over summer school snafu that mistakenly put 4th grader on school bus
Miriam Vazquez said her son, 9-year-old Anthony Escalante, had a scary first day of summer school at West Orange Elementary School on his way home.
Vazquez said when she arrived at school to pick him up, no one knew where the 4th grader was.
“I was just in panic mode. I said, ‘You know what, so I have to get out of here. I have to go get it. I need to know where he is. You can’t assure me of anything. That’s not right,'” Vazquez said.
She said the school principal placed her son on a school bus and was dropped off at a stop about half a mile from their home unsupervised.
“I wasn’t dropped off by myself and was a little worried no one was there,” Anthony said. “I was just there, walking home, then sitting sadly on the doorstep.”
Vazquez doesn’t want something like this to happen to anyone else.
“Luckily he was there,” Vazquez said. “He sat by the door and I hugged him. I hugged him tight and said, ‘What happened? What happened? “What happened, Grandpa? Why are you here?”
Cathleen Corella, assistant superintendent of education services for OUSD, said the district is fully aware of the incident.
She said a school administrator placed Anthony on the bus because his name was on the summer school bus list and he was a regular bus passenger during the school year.
In a statement, Corella said: “Unfortunately, the student was not designated as a confirmed driver of the summer school bus by his parents. When the school learned that it had inadvertently placed the student in the school bus, our district transportation department was contacted and confirmed that it was dropped off at their usual bus stop.
Our transportation service immediately went to the student’s home to ensure the student was safe and found the student with the parent. The Office of Educational Services has investigated this incident and reviewed all transportation protocols with all summer school administrators to ensure that only parent-approved students are permitted to board school buses. ‘summer school in the future.’
However, for Vazquez, this is not enough.
She unenrolled Anthony from summer school because she doesn’t trust them to keep her safe.
“Why would I keep sending my son there?” Vazquez asked.
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