A Calgary mother is speaking out after her six-year-old son was dropped off at the wrong bus stop in the city’s southeast.
Giselle St. Pierre’s son, Justin, attends Ecole Notre Dame de la Paix in the deep south community of Mahogany.
On Wednesday, he was dropped off by the First Student bus company earlier than the scheduled arrival time and at a different bus stop across the street.
St. Pierre said she was notified through the First Student app that the bus would be 45 minutes late.
She said she arrived at the bus stop earlier just in case, only to find her son Justin waiting at the wrong bus stop from where she usually picks him up.
St. Pierre said Justin was in tears.
“If we had arrived at the scheduled time, he would have been sitting there at least a minimum of 25 minutes,” St. Pierre said Friday.
“We were upset… we were sad for him,” she said. “He’s terrified. He doesn’t want to take the bus yesterday or today. [Around] 5’oclock, it’s dark, if he had decided to start walking, who knows.”
The Franco Sud School District’s transportation department tells Global News the bus was delayed by about 45 minutes but ended up being about 30 to 35 minutes late.
“This is very rare and isolated situation,” Antoin Begin, communications director for the Francosoud said.
The district’s policy is that students in Grade 1 or higher can be left alone. According to St. Pierre, the policy needs to be changed.
“If it’s a single student walking, I think there should be more in place to make sure to keep them safe.
“There’s research and studies that show children under nine years old aren’t really even of the mindset to be walking alone.”
She wants the school’s policy for Kindergarten students to include other grades too.
Going forward, the school has asked the bus company to respect the scheduled bus times.
St Pierre said she plans to drive her son to and from school from now on. She said he’s still afraid to take the bus on his own.
“He has a mistrust in taking the bus. And for us, it’s frustrating,” she said.
Global News reached out to First Student for comment but did not receive a response by time of publishing.
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