MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An eight-year-old special needs student got dropped off at the wrong house last week.
The Hall STEM academy student ended up in Northeast Minneapolis instead of his home in Brooklyn Center.READ MORE: St. Paul Schools To Extend Winter Break Due To Ongoing COVID Strain
WCCO’s Erin Hassanzadeh sat down with the family who says the mishap reveals a larger issue.
Keith Demmings spent over an hour not knowing where his eight-year-old Xzavier was after the school bus never showed up last Thursday afternoon.
“He put me on hold for about 45 minutes,” said Demmings “He said we’re still trying to reach the driver.”
Keith’s mind was racing – with the what-ifs and worst-case scenarios
“He said well he’s with the teacher and the teachers going to bring him home. I said no I’ll go to the school and get him and he said no, he’s at the teacher’s home and I said I’m not understanding,” said Demmings.
Somehow, Xavier was dropped off at his former teacher’s Northeast Minneapolis home – nowhere near his house in Brooklyn Center.
Minneapolis Public Schools tells us the bus company they contract with is taking responsibility for this mistake. Adding that drivers should call dispatch if they don’t know where to take a student.
The bus company says protocol was not followed in this case.
But Keith, a former bus driver himself, already knew that.READ MORE: Kim Potter Trial, Nov. 30 Live Updates: Defense Says Potter Will Testify, 4 Jurors Seated
“Without calling their dispatch or anything they left my child at this person’s house not knowing who this person was,” said Demmings “It could’ve been anybody.”
The ordeal revealed another issue.
“I was under the impression there was an aide on the bus,” said Demmings.
MPS says special education students should have aids riding with them on the bus to and from school if it’s called for in their education plan. Keith showed us Xzavier’s IEP and it does say he should have an aid with him on the bus.
“But the school informed me they’ve only had an aid approximately twice,” said Demmings.
The district acknowledges that there is a shortage of aides and bus drivers.
“We are looking into why Xzavier did not have an aide on the bus with him.” The district added, “There was a new driver on the route that day who has since been replaced.”
“There should be somebody that’s addressing this situation,” said Demmings.
Demmings tells us the district called him Thursday and said they’ll be sending a cab with an aide to pick up and drop off Xzavier every day from now on.
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