EL PASO, Texas – The parents of a 7-year-old girl are speaking out after they say their daughter was dropped off at the wrong bus stop, waiting for hours until her parents found her.
On Tuesday, the girl was going to take the bus after school for the first time, according to her parents. The girl is a second grader at Loma Verde Elementary School in the Socorro Independent School District.
Cecilia Gomez, the girl's mother, had learned in the morning that her bus number had changed due to technical problems and had instructed her daughter which bus she needed to board instead.
When the girl boarded the bus later that day, Gomez said the driver didn’t ask her daughter for a name and didn’t keep any record of her.
After the girl didn't arrive at the bus stop where she was waiting, Gomez knew something had happened. She headed to the school immediately.
Gomez said school officials didn’t know which bus she had gotten on. Instead, officials were checking security footage to see which bus the girl had taken.
“They were just kind of like, they didn’t know what to tell me because they didn’t have an answer for me. They kind of were talking on their own while I was waiting anxiously to know what bus. If it was a mixup, fine, but tell me where she is at or if she is coming back, but no answer at all that was scary. It was scary not to know where she was,” Gomez said.
The mother said more than two hours had passed before they located the girl.
Gomez said the father of the young girl found her waiting in a trailer park after he headed to the district's bus yard and asked bus drivers if they had seen the girl.
One bus driver said they had dropped off the girl at a trailer park nearby.
After searching the trailer park, the father would find her inside a leasing office.
Gomez said she still doesn’t know what happened, and the district hasn’t apologized or given her an explanation.
When ABC-7 spoke with Socorro ISD officials, they refused to comment on this specific case.
Andrea Cruz, the assistant superintendent of administrative services at SISD, said the school district is experiencing a bus driver shortage.
Additionally, Cruz said they are looking into the matter to make adjustments and ensure every child is safe.