School bus concerns

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Parent searches for hours after son gets lost on school bus

MAHOMET, Ill. (WCIA)– Amanda Covher says her son was excited to start first grade at Middletown Prairie Elementary School, but what happened on the school bus has her questioning his safety. “It’s very scary for him, and I can only imagine possibly traumatic,” said Covher.

Covher says her son never came home after school. After an hour she couldn’t take it anymore and took action. “I called the school at which point I was told he was let off the bus with another little girl, and they couldn’t tell me what intersection. I said to call the police, and we had to search for him because I was panicked,” said Covher. Soon after police said they found her son. She was relieved, but that didn’t last long. She opened her front door only to have her heart sink. Authorities had delivered the wrong child. “And I saw that child and panicked and I’m sure that child panicked when they saw me,” said Covher.

The principal later found her son still on the school bus. He had never been dropped off. She says he’s happy he’s home, but more must be done. “I hope that there can be change and quick,” said Covher. The Mahomet Seymour School District told WCIA they’ve taken complaints from frustrated parents about bussing issues. In a statement they said in part: “This situation has also not met what we expect of ourselves as a school district, and we have been and will continue to take steps to remedy the problems.”

Chief of police Michael Metzler confirmed the district is trying to fix the problems. “There’s no one more concerned about where their kids are than those school teachers and those bus drivers. They look out for those kids like they’re their own,” said Metzler. Covher says she’ll feel better when she sees changes. “There’s no excuses, and I need to know my son is safe,” said Covher. The school district says some of the problems with bus routes stem from software issues. They’re getting those fixed.

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