Mother: Bus left 5-year-old at wrong stop
A Brooklyn mother is distraught after she says her child was dropped off at the wrong bus stop.
Adrena Hartzog has never had a problem with her 5-year-old daughter, Zariah Watson, getting home safely from the bus stop. But at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Zariah wasn't there.
This year is the young girl's first at Leadership Preparatory Ocean Hill Charter School.
After hours of phone calls, Hartzog eventually found Watson in a deli on the street corner of another bus stop, about a 20-minute walk away.
"She was crying, she was worried, she was scared, she did not want to return back to the school," says Hartzog.
The school told Hartzog that Zariah's bus had broken down while dropping children off on Flatlands Avenue. Somehow, the girl was allowed to get off there. Hartzog says she doesn't know why she wasn't immediately notified about the problem or why the driver allowed her daughter to exit the bus.
With help from the National Action Network, Hartzog is calling for the bus driver to be fired. She says she doesn't allow her daughter on the bus anymore out of fear that it could happen again.
An attorney for the bus company, Boro Transit, told News 12 that there is no record of the incident, but the company usually disciplines drivers when there is a complaint.
In a statement, a school representative said, "We were deeply disappointed to learn this happened to one of our students. We are actively working with the bus company employed by the NYC DOE, which is responsible for the safety of all of the students on school buses, to ensure they do not allow this to happen again."
The Department of Education, which is responsible for hiring bus companies, says it's working with the family to resolve the issue.
"This is my daughter," Hartzog says. "She's five. How can you make a mistake like this?"