Manitoba mom wants changes after son is placed on school bus and dropped off far from home

A Manitoba mother is speaking out after her seven-year-old son was put on a school bus and dropped off nowhere near his home, despite the fact he doesn’t even ride the bus.

Back on Oct. 7, Grade 2 student Tyson Harden was sent on the bus and dropped off far from home, even though his mother has someone pick him up from school every day.

Nikita Harden said she works during school pick-up time so someone is always there to get him from Southwood School in Steinbach.

“She went in and asked where Tyson was because he hadn’t come out and they were looking and they noticed that the substitute teacher had put him on the bus,” said Nikita.

After some phoning around, the school learned Tyson had been dropped off on a rural street, a usual stop for the route, by the bus driver who had been filling in that day.

The school then called Nikita who drove around the area looking for her son.

“I thought, ‘He’s wandered off into the tree, he’s somewhere having a seizure, he’s wandered off.’ I didn’t know if I was going to see him again. I couldn’t breathe. I had a panic attack.”

She noted Tyson has several health issues, including epilepsy and ADHD.

It’s about a 15 minute drive on the highway to Tyson’s home from where he was dropped off. The school sent a teacher out looking for him once it noticed the mistake was made and he was found a short distance from where he was dropped off and taken back to the school.

Nikita believes Tyson was walking alone for about an hour.

“He tried walking home. He told me it was dark and he got dizzy and it was light time. So he most likely had a seizure on his own, which can be very dangerous.”

In a statement to CTV News, the Hanover School Division said it acknowledges the incident caused stress and anxiety for the student and his family.

“The incident is under divisional review, and precautions will be taken to ensure additional safety procedures are in place to avoid similar situations,” the statement said.

Nikita said she would like to see those measures taken immediately.

“I feel like it shouldn’t have happened. I feel like they should have listened to my son when he said he doesn’t take the bus. The bus driver should have made sure he didn’t get off at the wrong stop and how many kids got off at the right stop, especially if you don’t know the kids and you’re the substitute bus driver,” she said.

Nikita added her son was scared to go back to school the next day but after talking with the principal he felt a little better.

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