Child, 6, goes missing after missing school bus

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by Kristine Harrington

azfamily.com

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 19 at 7:40 PM

QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. -- A missing six-year-old and a frantic mom, that scenario is raising questions about a school's responsibility to make sure a child gets home safely.

“They come down Warner Road and stop right there for kids to get off and normally four kids get off here from the elementary school but yesterday there was only three,” said Holly Jo Johnson.

Johnson’s 6-year-old son Kelton, a first grader at Jack Barnes Elementary School, was missing. She says it was her worst nightmare.
 
“So when I called the school they were like he was on the bus and I said no he really wasn't on the bus,” said Johnson. “I was like do I call the police and they said we're not at the point of calling police they said we're going to look for him and call back.”
 
Johnson wasn’t willing to wait, so she got in her truck and went searching. Thankfully she found her son.
 
“When I found him I was hysterical crying, hugging him,” Johnson stated.

She said her son missed the bus while getting a drink of water and instead of going to the office or asking an adult for help, he decided to try to walk the whole nine miles home by himself.

“He was getting a drink of water, probably not the right thing to do but he's 6 and impulsive and that's what he needed to do but it was a complete break down at that school," Johnson remarked.
 
According to the superintendent, where the boy went for water is a popular place for kids to go after school.
 
“There's a bicycle rack back there and parent pick up area back there so not unusual for kids to walk that direction,” said Superintendent Tom Lindsey.

Lindsey said policies district wide will be reviewed.

“The principal, he or she, will work with staff to review all procedures and see if anything needs to be revised to ensure student safety because safety is crucial," said Lindsey.

 

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