LIFamilies.com - Long Island, NY


RSS
Articles Business Directory Blog Real Estate Community Forum Shop My Family Contests

Log In Chat Index Search Rules Lingo Create Account

Quick navigation:   

Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

Posted By Message

Boobobunny
Live in the Present

Member since 5/05

3572 total posts

Name:
Dannielle

Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

Sachem Mulls Changing Bus Stop Policy



Recent scare prompts transportation department to consider increasing age for students to be kept on the bus without a guardian present.


The Sachem School District is considering whether or not to raise the grade level transportation is allowed to drop off students at a bus stop without an adult present after a first-grade girl at Chippewa was left at an empty bus stop while her parents frantically searched for her.


It all started on Jan. 6, when Chrissy Hogan, a Holtsville resident with a son, 8 and daughter, 6, was expecting her children home from school when they met their father at the bus stop on the corner of Division Street and Honeysuckle Lane. Her son got off the bus; her daughter did not. When Hogan’s husband asked his son where his little sister was, he didn’t know, nor could he say with any certainty that she was on the bus. Chrissy Hogan called Chippewa to find out if she had gotten on the bus, but the school could only confirm she had gotten on line. Nobody saw her actually board.


Now frantic, Hogan called 911.

‘As everyone can imagine, the fear and sickness I felt was indescribable,’ Hogan wrote in a post on the Facebook group “Sachem Moms.” ‘My 8 year old son fell to the floor and began to cry as well when he heard me sobbing to the 911 dispatcher the description of my daughter and where she was last seen. It was the longest and most HORRIFIC 15 minutes of my life.’

While Hogan was on the phone with police, she looked out the window of her home office and noticed a little girl in familiar clothes walking down the street. She ran out of the house and scooped her daughter up.

As it turns out, the 6-year-old had been drawing pictures with her friend on the bus and missed her stop. According to Hogan, the 1st-grader alerted the driver, who went to one more stop, then headed back to her's. The bus stop was deserted at this point. According to Transportation Supervisor Stephen Shadbolt, the driver asked the little girl if she knew how to get home. She nodded yes, and the driver let her off.

According to both Shadbolt and Bruce Singer, associate superintendent of Sachem Schools, the driver followed the school’s transportation policy.

“He did what he was trained to do,” Singer said. “You have to look at the circumstances in total. There’s nothing cut or dry about this; it’s a judgement call at the moment.”

According to Hogan, she was informed that while the driver was not disciplined, he was going to be retrained and re-assigned to another bus route.

Now at the center of the debate, for both Hogan and Shadbolt, is whether or not a six-year-old is old enough to get off of a bus and walk home alone.

“How could you determine a positive difference between a six-year-old kindergartner, and a six-year-old first grader?” Hogan asked. “There really is none.”

But the school's policy as it stands, clearly only applies to kids at the kindergarten level. From first grade on, students can, and are, dropped off at bus stops unattended, with drivers making judgment calls about the safety of the situation. Shadbolt said that judgement applies to all students.

“We've brought students back all the way up to high school who were uncomfortable because either they didn't have keys or things weren't right, or something was amiss,” he said. “We would bring any child back to school that was uncomfortable getting off the bus at their home stop.”

“During this situation, if you’re leaving the driver to make that decision, where does common sense come into play?” Hogan asked. “My husband never would have suspected that a six-year-old would be let off the bus. Had she been more adventurous who knows what she would have done.”

Both Singer and Shadbolt have now set to the task of evaluating its policy for a possible amendment. They plan to be in contact with the elementary school principals from all 12 Sachem schools to discuss the logistics of changing the policy. According to Hogan, they will be meeting with her, her husband and Chippewa Principal Patricia Aubrey at the school on Jan. 21.

Singer said things to consider are how this may affect timing on bus routes and whether or not there will be any staff at the school to supervise children brought back to campus.

“On a normal day we can have between six and 10 children being brought back to the school,” Singer said. “That’s just the kindergarten kids. If we’re now going to extend to K through 3, it could be 30 or 40 children being brought back.”

Shadbolt said another issue is that some children are released to the supervision of guardians who aren't physically able to meet them at the stop. If the policy is changed, those students wouldn't be allowed to get off.

“We have to make sure we can implement it before we can amend it,” Singer said. “We have 200 buses on the road every day. It’s not that simple of flipping a switch and saying ‘OK we’re doing it.’ We really have to do our homework on it, evaluate it, see what the impact is… It’s a major change it’s not a little change.”

If there is any change to the policy, it will need board approval and will likely not be implemented until the 2014-15 school year.

For Hogan, it’s worth the time and energy. Her daughter is safe. But it could have turned tragic.

“Why does the extreme have to happen in order for something to change?” Hogan said. “Let’s take this as a big red flag. If anything good can come out of a situation, then I’d want to see a policy change. ”



http://sachem.patch.com/groups/schools/p/sachem-mulls-changing-bus-stop-policy

Posted 1/21/14 11:33 AM
 

sapphire
LIF Adolescent

Member since 6/06

568 total posts

Name:
Elizabeth

Re: Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

This is unbelievable !!!! NYC schools have face to face dismissal k-2 (or at least they used to). This just makes me sick.

How can someone seriously debate whether a six year old can handle themselves with no guardian at a bus stop. They rely on a bus driver's "judgement"? Sorry they need safer protocols !!! You can't leave it up to a six year old to determine if they are "comfortable" getting off the bus. What if they feel they have to or they will get in trouble ? Unreal.

Posted 1/21/14 11:52 AM
 

BargainMama
LIF Adult

Member since 5/09

15037 total posts

Name:

Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

What kind of idiot driver asks a 6 year old if they know how to get home, and then lets them off the bus?! Common sense, not policy should have dictated that this was wrong, especially since her stop was missed where she would normally get off with an older sibling.

But, sadly most districts don't have a guardian policy beyond Kindergarten. Another reason my 6 year old doesn't ride the bus.

Posted 1/21/14 12:02 PM
 

OffWithHerHead23
Keep passing the open windows

Member since 10/06

3627 total posts

Name:
Meaghan

Re: Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

My district supposedly has a policy where a K-2 needs an adult at the bus stop. This is NEVER followed. There was a little boy who lived across the street from us who never had an adult home. The kid had no key but the dad and grandma frequently were too late for the bus. Did the driver EVER check for an adult at the stop? NOPE. I always ended up with the kid at my house until the dad deigned to show up, sometimes an hour later. I freaked out at him after the third time and he says, "You could have just left him sitting on the front steps." After that, I wouldn't let the kid get off the bus if the car wasn't in the driveway, even though the bus driver asked me if I could take him to my house.

I think it's ridiculous that the driver was not disciplined. THAT'S CRAZY. There is no such thing as "I made a judgement call that a 6 year old could get home on their own." NO WAY. I'm not usually one to say "get a lawyer" but in this case I think I would be getting a lawyer. It's stories like these that make me happy I'm homeschooling and don't have to deal with this nonsense anymore!

Posted 1/21/14 1:17 PM
 

anonymous20
LIF Adult

Member since 11/09

1248 total posts

Name:

Re: Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

I am curious as to why the father didn't ask the bus driver where his daughter was when he didn't see her get off the bus???Chat Icon Chat Icon
The father should have asked the bus driver right then and there and had the driver call out to see if she was on the bus, etc.
Not sure why the dad walked away from the bus-bus stop without his daughter?

Posted 1/21/14 1:29 PM
 

jellybean78
:)

Member since 8/06

12760 total posts

Name:
Mommy

Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

I'm sorry but this is unexcusable! In DDs school we have to have face to face dismissal...the teacher don't know you the kid don't go with you period. DD is 6 and I can't even imagine her wandering the streets alone...I would be LIVID! I in good conscience would NEVER EVER be able to leave a child by themselves without seeing a parent, guardian, etc. That is so irresponsible. Thank God the little girl made it home OK but what if she hadn't?

Posted 1/21/14 1:55 PM
 

CrankyPants
I'm cranky

Member since 7/06

18178 total posts

Name:
Mama Cranky

Re: Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

Posted by anonymous20

I am curious as to why the father didn't ask the bus driver where his daughter was when he didn't see her get off the bus???Chat Icon Chat Icon
The father should have asked the bus driver right then and there and had the driver call out to see if she was on the bus, etc.
Not sure why the dad walked away from the bus-bus stop without his daughter?



My own husband did this too. He waited and the bus came back with her a few minutes later. I asked him why he didn't run after the bus waving his hands instead of just standing there looking. He said he was just stunned and not sure what to do. he just froze!

Posted 1/21/14 2:30 PM
 

Kelly9904
Mommy to 2 amazing little boys

Member since 5/05

9306 total posts

Name:
Kelly

Re: Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

This is horrible! My other concern is how the school couldnt confirm that the child was ON the bus!!!!! I once call my DS's school bc his bus was like 20 minutes late. The secretary at the school told me WHERE on the bus my son was sitting!

THey need a better system!!

Posted 1/21/14 3:11 PM
 

itsbabytime
LIF Adult

Member since 11/05

9412 total posts

Name:
Me

Re: Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

I'm going to be totally honest here - this stuff happens all the time actually. I have heard MANY stories in my district alone. The only difference was your friend's reaction. Is it horrible and completely unacceptable - yes. But, this is why I don't send my 6 yr old on the bus.

Posted 1/21/14 9:09 PM
 

Lillies
Grateful for my babies!

Member since 2/12

4563 total posts

Name:
<3

Re: Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

Long Beach has the same policy. They left my DS off by himself at the bus stop and he got lost.. A neighbor grabbed him. Unfortunately no one was disciplined bc it's written in policy that drivers are only responsible for kindergarteners.

Posted 1/22/14 9:14 PM
 

Lillies
Grateful for my babies!

Member since 2/12

4563 total posts

Name:
<3

Re: Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

My son does not step foot on the bus bc they won't change the policy. Things like this happen all the time. Very scary!!

Posted 1/22/14 9:15 PM
 

Tine73

Member since 3/06

22093 total posts

Name:
*********

Re: Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

My bus driver is great and will not let anyone off without an adult there.

Posted 1/22/14 10:14 PM
 

Faithx2
All good things in 2016!!

Member since 8/05

20181 total posts

Name:

Re: Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

Posted by Tine73

My bus driver is great and will not let anyone off without an adult there.



Same here and I'm in Sachem.

Posted 1/23/14 5:21 AM
 

Lillykat
going along for the ride...

Member since 5/05

16253 total posts

Name:

Re: Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

Posted by itsbabytime

I'm going to be totally honest here - this stuff happens all the time actually. I have heard MANY stories in my district alone. The only difference was your friend's reaction. Is it horrible and completely unacceptable - yes. But, this is why I don't send my 6 yr old on the bus.



Wow really? We as walkers now. But next year (the 2-5th bus) neighbors say they must have someone meet them or they can't get off. Surprised they don't do that were you are.

Posted 1/23/14 6:34 AM
 

nrthshgrl
It goes fast. Pay attention.

Member since 7/05

57538 total posts

Name:

Re: Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

I'd be livid. In freezing temperatures, I cannot even imagine my reaction.

Posted 1/23/14 12:38 PM
 

MissJones
I need a nap!

Member since 5/05

21439 total posts

Name:

Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

I'm shocked by this! In this day and age, even 3rd graders should be met by an adult.

Posted 1/24/14 6:05 AM
 

PrincessP
Big sister!!!!!!!!!!

Member since 12/05

17450 total posts

Name:

Re: Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

I read her story on sachem and how horrible it was.
I don't get how they will raise age limit for parents not present when my 7 yr old clearly walked off the bus in the snowstorm and I was in my minivan and I am never at the bus stop. Dh is always there so they know him. His car wasn't present so I was kinda shocked she was let off.

Message edited 1/24/2014 7:07:14 AM.

Posted 1/24/14 7:06 AM
 

itsbabytime
LIF Adult

Member since 11/05

9412 total posts

Name:
Me

Re: Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

Posted by Lillykat

Posted by itsbabytime

I'm going to be totally honest here - this stuff happens all the time actually. I have heard MANY stories in my district alone. The only difference was your friend's reaction. Is it horrible and completely unacceptable - yes. But, this is why I don't send my 6 yr old on the bus.



Wow really? We as walkers now. But next year (the 2-5th bus) neighbors say they must have someone meet them or they can't get off. Surprised they don't do that were you are.



Yes, that is the rule in our district as well. The things that have happened don't relate to that. I have heard quite a few kids being left on the bus and having their stops skipped for one reason or another, kids getting put on the bus or not on the bus when they are supposed to be, and, you'd be surprised about the things that go on ON the bus. A bus driver in our district even got fired based on what happened with a K student being left on the bus all the way to the bus depot and the driver insisting to everyone that called that he never got on the bus. AND, we have cameras on our school buses. There is little to no screening of these bus drivers on a daily basis and we entrust a bus full of kids from 5-11 on these buses every single day - scary. There really should be a lot more oversight and screening.

Posted 1/24/14 8:59 PM
 

MrsBumbleb
it's me

Member since 5/05

11234 total posts

Name:
Christine

Re: Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

OMG, my school you have to be in 5th grade to get off bus by yourself with no adult present for you. My son fell asleep on the bus once (7) and my daughter (5) got off and the bus started pulling away. I jumped in front of it and questioned where my son was. He then got up and came off. It freaked me out the driver didn't know he even got on the bus in the PM.

I would be beyond upset if my son was let out at another stop to walk especially since my stop was where my neighbor was approached twice by the predator in the white van!

Homeschooling starts looking better all the time.

Posted 2/3/14 11:29 AM
 

LIMomma
LIF Adolescent

Member since 6/12

523 total posts

Name:
Momma

Sachem parents, please read. This happened to my friend Chrissy's daughter...please make sure it doesn't happen ever again

This happened to my daughter - my babysitter was at the wrong corner and she was in 1st grade. She knew she coulnd't cross the street by herself so she stood there and cried until one of the moms (whose daughter is in the same class) took her home with her and text me to tell me she had her. I am thankful EVERY day that someone trusting was with her and my daughter was safe.

Posted 2/3/14 1:20 PM
 
 
Quick navigation:   
Currently 128409 users on the LIFamilies.com Chat
New Businesses
Carleton Hall of East Islip
J&A Building Services
LaraMae Health Coaching
Sonic Wellness
Julbaby Photography LLC
Ideal Uniforms
Teresa Geraghty Photography
Camelot Dream Homes
Long Island Wedding Boutique
MB Febus- Rodan & Fields
Camp Harbor
Market America-Shop.com
ACM Basement Waterproofing
Travel Tom
Yoga Womb/ SECS talk

      Follow LIWeddings on Facebook

      Follow LIFamilies on Twitter
Long Island Bridal Shows