WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg mother is outraged after her nine-year-old daughter was left out in the cold Tuesday, because her school bus didn’t pick her up.
Izabella Roberts said she got a call Tuesday morning around 10:30 a.m. from École Assiniboine Elementary, asking where her daughter Tumia was, because she didn’t show up to class. Roberts said she rushed home to find her daughter in the backyard, freezing cold and locked out of the house.
“I started calling her name, and she was in the backyard, half frozen,” said Roberts.
Tumia was laying on the back deck, shielding her face with her back pack trying to keep warm.
“I Just curled into a ball, and put my face in my backpack,” said Tumia.
After asking the school what happened, Roberts said she found out the bus driver was running late because of an accident on Route 90, and didn’t pick up certain students.
“He’s not allowed to make that call, he made that call,” said Brett Lough, Superintendent of St. James-Assiniboia School Division.
Roberts said her daughter was rushed to Grace Hospital to warm up after sitting outside in -19 C.
“My toes were really freezing, I couldn’t feel them anymore,” said Tumia.
Roberts said she started to scream, as parts of her body started to thaw.
“She started telling me her body hurts, her feet hurt because she was defrosting,” said Roberts.
She said the school apologized, but wants someone to claim responsibility for leaving her daughter behind.
Lough said the school division has already taken action.
“We’re working with the contracted bus service to ensure that one; that bus driver is not doing a St. James-Assiniboia School Division route, and we need to review our procedures and protocols to ensure our contracted service, their employees know what to do in situations like this.”