Albuquerque parents claim school put daughter on bus without permission


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque family claims someone called and sent a note to their daughter’s elementary school requesting she ride the bus home, even though that wasn’t routine.

The incident happened nearly two weeks ago at North Star Elementary School in the Northeast Heights.

Tom Potts, whose second-grader has never ridden the bus, said she had her first experience and it wasn’t pleasant.

Potts dropped his daughter off at school but when he went to pick her up that afternoon, she wasn’t there.

“Her teacher notified me that this note was in her backpack, to get on the bus,” Potts said.

The note said “bus home” with a smiley face on a piece of notepad Potts and his wife claimed wasn’t theirs. But then the incident became even stranger.

“There was also a phone call to the school to have her ride a bus and the caller said she was (her) mother,” Potts said.

Potts said the receptionist, who took the call, failed to do her job.

“She took zero steps to verify this was actually (her) mother,” he said.

Instead, the receptionist figured out what bus the second grader was supposed to catch and made sure she was on it at the end of the day, according to the incident report.

Albuquerque Public Schools said it’s not uncommon for parents to call and change their child’s pick-up plans. The district said there was nothing out of the ordinary about the call.

Although, according to Potts, the receptionist couldn’t provide them with a name or number of the person who called.

Since their daughter never rode the school bus before, she stayed on until the last stop. A neighbor in the area found her crying for her mom.

APS told KRQE News 13 as soon as it found out the girl was put on the bus, it sent out one of its officers to search for her.

Although she wasn’t hurt, the Potts said they still have a lot of unanswered questions.

“We want to make sure somebody is not out to do something and harm our daughter,” Potts said. “We can’t just let this go.”

The school district said there is no way to track down who called the school without a subpoena. A spokesperson said nothing like this has happened before.

The incident report states the second grader’s teacher also showed the note to other students to verify it didn’t belong to a classmate.

According to APS, it did work out a safety plan with the family for the rest of the school year.

The principal of North Star Elementary sent out an email to parents following the incident, stating parents will have to provide more information when they call the office.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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