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6-year-old asked to walk home alone after bus driver missed stop

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 11:04 AM CDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/Gray News) – A first-grade student in Tennessee was asked to walk half a mile to her home after the bus driver missed her stop – for the second time.

According to WVLT, Jimmye Chapman has twin 6-year-olds, Sam and Seeley, that ride the bus together.

The first time the bus driver missed the children’s stop, Chapman noticed the bus go by and was able to run it down just a stop sign later.

Days later, the same thing happened again, except the bus didn’t stop.

Seeley was on the bus without her brother, who was home for the day. As the bus drove past her home, Seeley made her way to the front and informed the driver.

“She told the bus driver she had missed her stop. The bus driver then asked what grade she was in,” said Chapman. “My daughter responded she was in the first grade and the driver said, ‘Can you walk home from here?’”

According to Chapman, Seeley isn’t the kind of kid to say no to an adult, so she answered yes and got off the bus approximately a half mile away from her home.

As the first-grader walked home afraid and crying, a woman walking her dog noticed and offered to help her walk home.

Chapman called this woman a “guardian angel” for her act of kindness.

Although unharmed, Chapman said she continues to think of all the possibilities that something could have gone wrong while Seeley was walking by herself.

“My child could have been killed yesterday, my child could have been abducted yesterday,” Chapman said.

After researching the area, WVLT found that 10 people on the sex offender registry live within a mile radius from her home.

In response, Oak Ridge Schools released a statement that said they would implement steps to ensure the mistake would not happen again.

The statement reads in part:

A monitor will be riding the bus to provide the driver with additional training and support. We have emphasized with all drivers that students are not to be required to walk an additional distance due to a driver missing a stop.

The driver is expected to circle back and drop the student off at the assigned bus stop. The driver involved in this incident will be required to document all students leaving the bus. This requirement will assure that this mistake isn’t repeated.

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