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Paperwork mistake sends 5-year-old on bus to empty home instead of after school care program

Caylia Sharp
Posted at 4:54 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-31 13:52:21-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A lot of emotions surround the first day of school, especially for kids heading off to kindergarten. However, Ciara Brown never expected to feel what she felt Thursday afternoon after dropping off her five-year-old daughter, Caylia, at Pleasant Run Elementary that morning for her first day.

"I was calling the school to ask them 'where is she?' The secretary asked me 'well, where is she? Why are you so frantic,'" Brown said.

Her daughter was supposed to be in the After School Program run by the YMCA when the school day ended. If she needed a ride home, it was never supposed to be on a bus.

"She's a car rider. It's very clear that in the paperwork it said car rider. I've gone to two registrations. I'm a very hands-on parent," Brown said.

At a kindergarten camp put on by the school, it was made very clear Caylia would not have to ride the bus because she was terrified after experiencing it during the camp. After being forced to ride the bus Thursday afternoon, Brown says her daughter was incredibly shaken by the experience

"My daughter is smart and remembers things. She knew she wasn't supposed to be on the bus and no one listened to her."

MSD of Warren Township, through spokesperson Dennis Jarrett, released the following statement regarding this matter.

The student's name was not on the list of after care children as provided to the school by the "Y." (Parents sign up their children for after school care through the "Y" and independent of the school.)

The child was placed on her assigned bus after school. When the bus arrived at the child's bus stop, the bus driver noticed there was not a parent on location to meet the child. The bus driver then called and spoke with the child's mother, who instructed the bus driver to return the child to Pleasant Run. At no time was the child left by herself.

Brown says she's going to double-check all the paperwork she signed to be sure this never happens again.

"Every day I have to think at 2:55 (p.m), I have to think about is she going to get back on a bus? Did somebody come pick her up? Is she in after-school care?"

The YMCA has yet to respond to our request for comment on this matter.