Parent says school bus elementary students were dropped blocks from usual spot in rain

Posted at 9:49 PM, Apr 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-27 00:06:20-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When Jazmyne Heilderberg and her brother Jay'den left Ingles Elementary School, they hopped on their bus like usual to go home. 

But behind the wheel was a substitute bus driver. 

"I was telling her where to go and she said she wasn't going all the way up there. So she told us to get off all the way where she dropped us off at," said 9-year-old Jazmyne. 

Jazmyne said the bus driver forced her and her brother off of the school bus at 119th and Smalley-- just under half a mile from their regular bus stop. 

They started running home in the rain-- confused, she said, at where they were. 

"I didn't know where I was going," said Jazmyne.

Luckily, her older sister was turning the corner in her car, spotted the siblings and took them home. 

"I just can't imagine what could have happened because they are coming home, they are crying, walking around trying to find their way home. What if a stranger would have stopped to console my kids?" said Chanedia Dixon, Jazmyne's mom. 

The Hickman Mills School District contracts the Apple Bus Company to pick up and drop off all students. 

The bus company sent 41 Action News the following statement: 

We have been made aware of a situation involving two students at Ingels Elementary School in the Hickman Mills School District allegedly dropped off at an incorrect stop on the route on the afternoon of April 25th.

We have opened a full investigation into this matter to review the route, scheduled stops, student roster and any special requirements for the students.  We are also reviewing established procedures by our staff to ensure safety protocols were followed.

To our knowledge, neither child has special needs requirements regarding transportation.

Although we are unable to provide comment regarding personnel decisions and an open investigation, we will work closely with the District should any changes to routes, stops or procedures need to be changed.

"When they walk out the door I expect them to get on the bus and be safe. Make it to school. Come home on the bus and be safe," said Dixon. "How do I know my kids are going to be safe coming home tomorrow?" 

The Hickman Mills School District told 41 Action News they are conducting their own investigation. They sent the following statement: 

"Any complaints or reports regarding our students safety are taken very seriously and when informed about the incident with Apple Bus Company, the district immediately began our own internal investigation. 

At this time, we can not comment further on the incident due to personnel issues.  However, we can confidently state and assure parents and students who receive transportation through the District, we are on top of the situation and are working with Apple Bus Company to make sure that no child feels unsafe riding the bus to and from school."

Thank you,
Ruth Terrell-Lee Spokesperson for the HMC1SD