Georgia Dad Outraged After He Says School Bus Driver Left His 5-Year-Old Daughter Behind 3 Times
Video footage showed Tristan King confronting Norton Elementary school officials after his 5-year-old daughter was allegedly left behind by the school bus
Officials at a Georgia elementary school are apologizing to a concerned father after he said that his 5-year-old daughter had been left behind by school bus drivers three times.
Video footage showed Tristan King confronting staff at Norton Elementary school in Snellville after learning that the school bus driver had driven off without his young daughter yet again. He told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his fourth-grade son called him in a panic with the news.
“He called us screaming that his sister wasn’t on the bus and they wouldn’t wait for her or let him off to find her,” King told the publication.
Fed up, King went to the school on Feb. 28 looking for answers and wrote in a Facebook post that school officials threatened to ban him from the property unless he had a police escort.
“The first time I was calm and understanding, because I understand it could happen,” King is heard explaining in the video. “The second time, I was mad but I let it go. The third time my son called me from the bus crying, screaming, talking about he don’t know where his sister is.”
King’s wife added to the officials: “My son told them to stop. He said, ‘don’t pull off. I cannot leave without my sister.’ And they told them to leave anyway. My son was on the bus screaming and crying and y’all still told the bus to pull off.”
The video has been viewed more than two million times and has amassed more than 34,000 shares. School officials have apologized to King for the incident, Roach tells PEOPLE. In a letter to parents, Principal Melanie Lee said that King’s daughter was not lost but simply missed the school bus.
“It is reasonable for a parent or sibling who does not know where the child is to be worried and upset,” Lee wrote in the March 7 letter obtained by PEOPLE. “There is no question that ensuring that students get to and from school safely is the school and school system’s responsibility.
“Mr. King had every right to be upset and the whole thing wasn’t handled well,” Sloan Roach, a spokeswoman for Gwinnett County Public Schools, told the publication. “School officials have reviewed things on their end and some new policies and procedures have been put in place.”
School officials have arranged to have King’s daughter and son escorted to the bus each day and Roach says the new system “is working well.”
However, King told the Journal-Constitution that the plan was followed for only a few weeks before procedure went back to the way it had been. He said the issue has not been completely resolved.
“I haven’t spoken to anyone,” he told the publication. “I’m worried that this is an epidemic that has been swept under the rug.”
King did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.