NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –A mom on Staten Island says a city school bus left her five-year-old son at the wrong bus stop.
Three weeks later, Catherine Litus is still waiting for an explanation.
Her son, Alexander, can navigate his home without even looking, but this year the kindergartner is going to school in a different neighborhood for its revered gifted and talented program.
It forced Catherine to lock down his bus route back in August.
“I met with the transportation coordinator, we filled out paperwork outlining the stop,” she said.
The intersection is even printed on his backpack, but on September 12th her worst fears came to life.
“All the children came off the bus, and I went to the driver to ask where my son is,” she said. “He said ‘don’t panic he might still be at the school’.”
She made a bee-line for PS 42, where the staff said her son was dropped off about nine blocks away from where he was supposed to be.
“That’s not his neighborhood, so he’s no familiar with any of those blocks or houses,” Catherine said.
The terrified mom says thankfully another mother picking her own child up saw Alexander standing without an adult. Even though she didn’t know him, she called the school and waited with the boy until Catherine picked him up.
She filed a complaint with the Department of Education that same day.
“From there I was told in 48 hours an investigator would contact me,” Catherine said.
So far this school year, the DOE hasn’t racked up many good marks for its buses. The department even got rid of its transportation chief last month after a string of route mishaps and a hiring process that allowed for convicted criminals to become drivers.
Despite promises from DOE Commissioner Richard Carranza to fix the issues, Catherine says she isn’t satisfied.
“There’s been a lack of follow up completely for three weeks and a day, and at this moment I haven’t heard anything,” she said. “Not a single phone call.”
A DOE spokesperson told CBS2 “a new driver has been assigned while we are investigating this incident.” They say when it varies by school when it comes to making sure students get off at the right stop, but they’ll make any route adjustments necessary.
As for Catherine, she says she just wants to put Alexander on his bus knowing he’ll get to and from school safely.