JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s a parent’s worst nightmare.
One Duval county student boarded the school bus on the first day of class Tuesday, but never make it to his correct school. Instead, the 11-year-old boy ended up at a different school and attended the wrong classes all day.
Kevin Munro, the father of this child, spoke to News4Jax.
“I put him on the bus, watched him get on the bus, the bus drove off, and I went to sleep,” Munro explained.
Munro works nights and watched his son step on the bus at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
The child was supposed to head to Joseph Stilwell Military Academy of Leadership with a transfer at Riverside High School. It was there that things went wrong.
“He didn’t know what bus to get on, he was directed to get onto a bus, that bus broke down, and the replacement bus was sent and that replacement bus didn’t know where to send him,” Munro told News4Jax.
The school bus he boarded ended up at Eugene Butler Middle School and dropped him off.
“He arrived two hours late and as soon as he walked in they took down his name and thought he was a new student arriving. They gave him a schedule and sent him on his way. They didn’t know he didn’t belong there until the end of the day until it was time for him to get on a bus and go home. He didn’t know what bus to get on and that’s when they looked in the system and saw he didn’t belong there.”
Meanwhile, Munro had gone back to bed not thinking anything was wrong.
“I woke up at 3 p.m. and got on the school app to see what time his bus was going to arrive in the afternoon so I could pick him up, and a little notification popped up in the app saying that he had one unexcused absence.”
Munro said he was confused and worried.
“Panic, fear, anger, everything, every nightmare scenario was playing through my mind as I am sitting there. They started looking room by room, initiated an entire school lockdown. They got the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office involved, and he was nowhere to be found in the school.”
After speaking with the transportation company and making several calls, they were able to locate him.
News4JAX reached out to Duval County Public Schools and was told by a spokesperson that both district and school leaders followed up with this family to apologize and provide support to help the student have a better start to the school year.
“While the district did apologize, it did not provide any details about what, if anything, would be changed to prevent this from happening to anyone else’s child,” Munro said.
The father and son were reunited at 4:55 p.m. after driving to Eugene Butler Middle School. Munro bought his son a cellphone that night. The boy has not had any issues since.