LEXINGTON, N.C. -- A Lexington mother says a school bus mix-up left her 7-year-old son alone outside in the heat for hours.
Shayla Pittman told FOX8 that she submitted a form indicating that her son Noah should be dropped off at the Lexington YMCA after school.
When she went to pick him up Monday, Noah wasn’t there.
"My other two kids that were there asked me, ‘Mom, where's Noah?’ And I said, ‘He should be here,’” Pittman said.
Pittman called Charles England Elementary School, but at that time, she was told administrators were gone for the day.
She went home around 6 p.m. Monday to find her son on the front porch with a neighbor who found him a short time earlier.
Pittman says instead of getting on the YMCA bus, her son was put on a bus to take him home.
"I said, ‘Were you scared, what did you do?’ He said, ‘I just laid on the porch and went to sleep,’” Pittman said.
Pittman believes her son had been there since about 2:30 or 3 p.m.
She is concerned not only about the mistake, but also that her son was dropped off without the bus driver seeing a guardian present.
"He could have been abducted. He could have had heat exhaustion from lying out there in the heat with no water,” Pittman said.
“A number of things could have happened to him and that's what keeps going through my mind, and that's really why I just can't let this go,” she added.
Lexington City Schools told FOX8 that human error on their end is part of what caused the mix-up. The badge attached to Noah’s book bag had his home address instead of the YMCA.
Superintendent Rick Kriesky told FOX8 “We deeply regret the error because student safety is our first responsibility.”
He also explained that the matter had been addressed internally.
The principal at the school apologized to Pittman, but Pittman wants school leaders to review drop-off protocol -- considering there was not a parent at home when her son got off the bus.
FOX8 reached out to the Lexington YMCA via phone and email for comment on why Pittman was not notified that her son didn’t arrive, but our requests went unanswered.
However, Pittman says a representative with the YMCA did call her to apologize on Tuesday.