LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. - A Lee’s Summit, Mo., couple wants answers after their 10-year-old daughter was dropped off at the wrong bus stop on her first day of school.
It's hard to fight back the tears as Martha Maggio describes the scariest five minutes she’s experienced.
“I would be very upset if something happened to her,” she said. “And I’m just glad that she's okay."
She and her husband waited at their apartment complex’s club house, where her daughter was supposed to be dropped off. However, when the bus pulled up, she was nowhere in sight.
“I thought she would be lost, taken, hurt, scared alone, vulnerable, at the worst she was scared and alone,” she said.
Instead, Lilli had been dropped off about a quarter of a mile away.
Her parents never saw that bus stop listed on the district's online bus route, and Lilli didn’t realize it wasn’t her stop.
“I recognized familiar surroundings,” she said, “and thought ‘oh, this must be my stop, I should get off here.’”
She said the bus driver never questioned her getting off at the wrong stop.
“He just smiled at me, said, ‘have a nice day’ and let me walk off."
Another parent dropped her off at the right stop.
Lilli's parents can't understand why this happened.
“This is dangerous for kids to be vulnerable like this, and they can't leave the school building without an adult. They shouldn't leave the bus without an adult,” Martha said.
A representative from the Lee’s Summit School District emailed 41 Action News and said all of the bus stops should be listed online, and the bus drivers have a list of every child's designated stop.
“There was no list or anything,” Lillli said. “They didn’t even check that I was the right person."
Lilli's parents hope the mistake can be a wakeup call, not only for school administrators, but also for other parents.
“It only has to happen once, and if it's your child,” Guy Maggio, Lilli’s dad, said. “May it never be your child. May it never be anybody's child."