Special needs girl placed on wrong bus leaving mother looking for answers

Posted:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A young autistic girl ended up on the wrong bus to go home Wednesday at Stucky Middle School which then led to a long journey home.

Wednesday was the first day of school for Wichita Public Schools and Vae'Lynn Logan was on her way to the bus. However, she ended up on the wrong one.

"I'm going to be honest, I was freaking out," said Kim-Markella Franklin, Logan's mother.

Her bus she was supposed to be on arrived at it's stop at their home, but Logan never got off, forcing her mother to start making phone calls.

"I called the school three times and I left three messages, they did not answer," Franklin said. "In between calling the school I was going back and forth with the school, and first student and every time I called first student I got a voice message that said the mail box is full, call back later."

According to Franklin, it was hard enough not knowing where her daughter was, but it scared her even more considering her daughter was autistic and couldn't give the bus driver any information as to getting to her house.

"When he realized she was special needs she started to shake she started to cry a little bit, I'm on the phone telling her it's going to be OK," Franklin said.

Logan didn't know where she was and her mother said she didn't want to hand the phone to the driver because he was driving. Eventually she handed the phone to him so Franklin could guide him, but the driver didn't know the way around town, and couldn't get a hold of his own dispatch with First Student, the bus company that works with Wichita Public Schools.

"He was like I only know my route," Franklin said.

After some time trying to find the way, they agreed to meet in a Walmart parking lot. The bus driver waited with her for Franklin to get there. When she did, Franklin said she could tell how scared she was.

"Autistic kids are not touchy, they don't like being touched," Franklin said. "She was clinging on to me."

After the near two and a half hour journey to get her daughter home, Franklin said she's just thankful she got her home safe.

"This mishap could have went way worse," Franklin said. "If my daughter didn't have a cell phone and I could not afford for her to have a cellphone I don't know what I would be telling you right here today."

Franklin also said two other incidents have occurred regarding where her daughter needed to be dropped off. One, she said the bus went to the wrong block and kept her on the bus because her mom wasn't at the house they thought was hers. Franklin said her daughter is supposed to be dropped off right in front of their house and they dropped her off at the corner instead to where she had to cross the street.

We reached out to Wichita Public Schools and First Student for interviews and received two statements.

A spokesperson for First Student told KAKE News in an email:
"The start of every new school year brings new routines for parents, schools, teachers and students. First Student has initiated an investigation, and will continue to partner with the district to work to get students on the correct bus."

Wichita Public Schools also sent their statement.
"We're sorry that this unfortunate mistake happened and we're glad that she is safe. The school has put measures in place to make sure it doesn't happen again."

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