Lost Kid: parents blame school
Parents of 6 year old in Star blame school for allowing him off campus. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
A six year old boy from Star is still traumatized over what happened on his way home from school.
His ordeal last month wasn't bullying or abuse.
Little Maximus Moore ended up lost on a freezing cold afternoon far from home.
And his parents say the school is responsible.
We're on your side to see how this could happen and what the school district is doing about it.
This smiling six year old is used to riding the bus home from school.
But on January 16th, he didn't arrive at his usual drop off location.
"It was horrific."
And his mom assumed the worst.
"Oh my god, my soul just dropped. Someone's got him and is doing god knows what "
Darcey Moore rushed to the school and as night set in with temperatures plummeting, she called 9-1-1.
"Dispatcher: Take a deep breath for me. What's his name? Moore: (unintelligible) Dispatcher: Ok, take a deep breath for me. Moore: He didn't get off the bus and nobody knows where he's at!"
A couple hours later, relief.
"The police call and say some lady found him on the side of the road and picked him up and we have him in custody and I fell to my knees and said oh my god!" says Moore.
Darcey says Max told her he got on the blue bus instead of the orange bus and when he informed the driver, he just opened the door and let him out at the next corner ....miles from his home. Thanks to the nice lady who found him, police delivered him safely home.
"Max was bawling hysterically, he was bright red and frozen," says Moore, "It was 10 degrees outside."
School district representatives say they did an investigation the next day.
"Our investigation is that he didn't get on the bus." says Eric Exline, Meridian Schools PIO,
"Letting a kid out at an unscheduled stop would be an extreme incident that would lead to a firing."
But whatever the reason, a 6 year old boy ended up lost, on his own on the streets. Technically the school still had custody of him.
"Reporter: Is there not a responsibility on the schools part to make sure certain kids especially at this age get on a bus and don't walk away? Exline: So, there is a procedure taught to kids they're color coded and they train the kids."
Moore says the district needs a better system to keep track of kids, especially new students and kindergartners.
"We're so lucky it didn't end up the way it could have. And I pray every day that another child doesn't go through that because he probably won't be as lucky as my son was."
Moore says Max is scared to get on the bus, he's in counseling over the episode and insists on being driven to and from school.
Does it look like the district is considering any changes?
Eric Exline says this is a rare case that does not require any policy changes.
He adds that if a kindergartner really has his mind set on walking away from school at the end of the day, he probably can.