DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — When parents put their kids on a school bus, they assume they’re going right from their bus stop to school, and then from school right back to their stop.
A Thomasville parent told FOX8 his children’s bus took a detour.
J.W. Wolfe said his kids’ bus driver stopped at a gas station convenience store and went inside, leaving elementary school children alone on the bus.
The unscheduled stop happened on Feb. 22.
“My oldest, my 9-year-old, said ‘dad, we got left on the school bus at the gas station,'” Wolfe said.
He learned this right as he was getting ready to put his three kids, aged six to nine, on the bus to Fairgrove Elementary School.
“They said the bus driver told them that he was going to go into the gas station and get all of the good kids a snack,” Wolfe said.
But Wolfe’s kids said they never got a snack and waited in their seats while their driver went inside.
“The bus driver gets off the bus, leaves all of the kids unattended without another adult on the school bus, goes into the gas station, comes back out and finishes the route,” he added.
It’s a situation Wolfe doesn’t think should ever have happened.
“My kids are supposed to go to school and be safe, and somebody is supposed to take care of them in a way that I take care of them and protect them,” he explained. “The first thing that came to my mind is all of the child abductions that are going on right now.”
When FOX8 contacted the Davidson County school district about what happened, a copy of the district’s safety policy was sent over.
There is a section of the policy that states school employees must “attend to the safety and welfare of students, including the need to provide appropriate supervision at all times.”
Wolfe believes there should be a more specific policy in place.
“There needs to be an actual policy: this is what you do. This is what you don’t do. And you need to sign it,” he said. “You need to know it’s not safe or acceptable to leave anybody’s kids unattended on a school bus in a public place. You just can’t do that.”
Wolfe wants his kids to be protected on the bus the same way he protects them.
“I don’t even go into a gas station and leave my own kids in my own car, locked,” he said. “How many other parents’ kids are being put in a dangerous situation?”
A representative with Davidson County Schools told FOX8 they are investigating what happened but cannot share anything further at this time because it is a personnel matter.