Carlsbad preschooler gets lost in bus drop-off mixup

New Mexico News

It was a bad mixup that left a mother in tears. That mom wants to know how her 4-year-old got dropped off at the wrong daycare, and why no one notified her for hours.

“Big shock, like heartbreak I guess,โ€ said Sabrina Arredondo.

When she went to go pick up her 4-year-old son Zayden from the bus stop Monday afternoon, she says he was nowhere to be found.

“She yelled his name and she’s like, ‘He’s not on here,’ and took off,โ€ said Arredondo.

Zayden is a student at Hillcrest Preschool in Carlsbad. It was his first day riding the bus, and his mother says, now his last.

“It was terrible, I didn’t know where he was. I mean, I don’t wish this on anybody, like it’s a horrible feeling,โ€ she said.

Frantic and in tears, she says she made several calls, but no one could tell her where her son was until about two hours later, when she got a call from the Carlsbad Intermediate School.

The whole time, Zayden was right down the street from the drop-off location at the San Jose Childcare Center. Arredondo says he’s not even enrolled there.

“He was on the right bus, they just let him off at the wrong stop. They let him off at the morning stop, not the afternoon,โ€ said Arredondo.

The daycare director says she noticed Zayden shouldn’t be there, but the bus had already left. She says she did try to find out where he should go.

Zayden’s mother said it should have been easy, since he was wearing a green bus tag that had his parents’ numbers on the back, as well as where he should have been dropped off.

The school district says it was an isolated incident and at no time was Zayden in any danger.

“We’re definitely glad that we were able to get the parent notified and the child was able to be picked up. There was an error that occurred and so, we’re going to be looking at those systems to make sure that this doesn’t happen again,โ€ said Natasha N. Mackey, the communications director for Carlsbad Municipal Schools.

“I just want someone to take ownership of it. Someone to actually like, take responsibility and apologize, because he’s 4. He can’t just be out there on his own,โ€ said Arredondo.

Arredondo says the head of the school district’s bus company did apologize Monday night.

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