LORAIN, Ohio — Spencer Cox is a Lorain father who is deeply concerned about the safety of his 6-year-old daughter, who is a first-grade student at Summit Academy on East 36th Street.
Cox said he was stunned when the school and bus transportation company, First Student Inc., confirmed his daughter was left at the wrong bus stop and later picked up and brought to the correct stop on Sept. 20.
Summit Academy leadership confirmed a similar incident happened to another of its elementary students on Friday, Sept. 17.
Cox said he contacted First Student about the incident, but wasn't happy with the company response. Cox said his daughter was left alone for 20-minutes before the driver corrected the error and during that time his daughter reported she was questioned by a stranger.
“I really was, I was terrified," Cox said. “My daughter was left in an unsafe situation, and that is every parent's worst nightmare. You know, she’s 6-year-old.”
“For the bus system to drop the ball like this, is just completely unbelievable. There should be monitors and just overall better communication. My daughter was no longer on the bus, at which point he dropped her off at the incorrect drop, and then circled back to get her.”
News 5 reached out to Summit Academy Principal Keegan Schoen about the incidents involving two of his students and he issued the following statement:
"As a school, we work hard to make sure that we provide a safe learning environment for our students every day, and we want to make sure that happens on the bus as well. We have the same concerns as our families over this situation, and we will be addressing it with the school district to ensure this situation does not recur."
News 5 placed seven phone calls and left five voicemail messages with the First Student Lorain location during business hours on Sept. 21. News 5 also reached out and left and an email and voicemail with Student First corporate offices in Cincinnati, but we're still waiting for a response.
Meanwhile, Cox is hoping the transportation company will add aides on its larger buses in an effort to keep better track of students
"For us, 20 minutes may not seem long, but that’s an awfully long time for a 6-year-old girl, that feels like an hour to them,” Cox said.
"I think that any parent would be glad that this had a safe ending, but this definitely could have gone a different way."