Crime, Education

Kindergartener Left Wandering Rainier Beach After School Bus Mix-Up

Q13 Fox News:

A mix-up at a school left a five-year-old boy wandering alone in a Rainier Beach neighborhood Monday. His mother is at a loss on how it could have happened – and angry that the school responsible still has not apologized for its massive mistake.

“My stomach was in knots,” said Natalie Davis Eltahir. “I was scared. I really didn’t know what to think or how to feel.”

Davis-Eltahir received a message from a neighbor saying they found her five-year-old son Hassan wandering the neighborhood. She was not home.

Hassan was supposed to be in an after-school geometry program at South Shore School. Instead, he was put on a bus and dropped off in his neighborhood with no parent around. His mother said Hassan may have been alone for more than 30 minutes. When she got the call that Hassan had been found, she didn’t know whether to believe it. More.

South Shore School in Rainier Beach. Photo/Will Austin Photography

7 comments on “Kindergartener Left Wandering Rainier Beach After School Bus Mix-Up

  1. 5 years old and in an after school geometry class. I understand her concern about the kid being dropped off alone, but she mentions him “not getting his academics” He’s 5 and in geometry. How is he not getting his academics?

  2. Geometry club is on Thursdays, not Mondays. Looks like the mom messed up, then goes on TV to complain about the school? Gimme a break.

  3. Wow. I think the real story here is the academic achievement of Geometry for Kindergarteners! Maybe her son wasn’t supposed to be in that program or was there the wrong day, but instead of calling Mom and making her come pick up her kid they just stuck him on a bus without considering that she was expecting him to be there that day and might not be home.

    So perhaps the kid was in the wrong place at the wrong time and maybe the Mom was partly at fault on that, but drop kicking him in the middle of his ‘hood with no parent around isn’t EVER cool, for this age. Ya. I’d be serving Administrator for dinner.

    Or maybe the list thing was the real mixup…which is where I really got worried:

    “Seattle Public School officials say the private vendor who runs the after school program was supposed to send off a roster of the kids involved in the program, but that teachers never received that list. ”

    Uh…so SPS released kids to a third party vendor without being provided a list of which parents had signed off on the program?


  4. Ahow, I just don’t think it was anything here was that blatantly negligent or irresponsible.

    The “third party vendor” is just the after school program AT the school, that happens to run the optional after school programs on TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS.

    The big TV story says this happened on a Monday, and if that’s true, then it’s just a normal day of school and the kids just got on the bus as usual, but Mom wasn’t there to fetch him. No one “stuck” this confused kid on a bus.

    I don’t know what the official rules are for SPS bus drivers. Many of the elementary students (like my 3rd and 4th graders) just get off the bus and walk on home. If this kid got off the bus with a group of kids, I don’t think the driver should be held responsible to sort out what grades they are and whose parents are there waiting for them (or not) and which ones should be held back. Especially when they are all now crammed with multiple routes every morning and afternoon with angry parents complaining they are late all the time.

    Sorry. I just hate the “blame everyone” tone of this woman’s accusation. My daughter, when in kindergarten, fell asleep on her bus and missed the stop. When I reached the driver on his cell, he said, “nope, she’s not on the bus”. Mild panic ensued. But she woke up, the driver found her, I accepted his apology and laughed it off. I didn’t go on TV to bash the school and the school district and the bus drivers union.

  5. “but drop kicking him in the middle of his ‘hood with no parent around isn’t EVER cool, for this age. Ya. I’d be serving Administrator for dinner.”

    “With Fava beans and a nice Chianti.”

  6. SusanH-

    I feel you. However your analogy is not analogous. Your 5 year old was safe the entire time, hers was wondering the street for half an hour with no access to her house because she did not know her kid would be sent home that day, because she’d enrolled him in a program. Whether she had the day wrong I suppose is part of the investigation, and perhaps I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt that she had the day right.

    And it sounds to me, again perhaps giving her too much credit but it seems she sought out a response from the school first, only to be met with this “we had no list, it’s the vendor’s fault” answer. THAT is what bothers me, I don’t care who the vendor is or even if the program is run by the school itself! Parents should be able to anticipate when a child this young is going to be given the ole tuck n roll off the bus, and I am not feeling that kind of security from their response. Ultimately I hold the school responsible for knowing whether my kid is supposed to be with the vendor or sent home, not the vendor. If it was her mistake, fine. It sounds like there was more going on here, because of their own response to the situation.

    MarkB-might boil them in Guinness first.

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