0

Police called after child put on bus

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

A McDonough girl was back home safely with her family, after reportedly being placed on a school bus without her mother's consent.

The incident unfolded shortly after 6:30 p.m., Thursday, at Henry County Middle School, according to McDonough Police Sgt. Loretta Boone. She said the girl's mother called police, in an effort to locate her daughter.

"An 11-year-old female was in an after-school program [at the middle school]," said Boone. "It was about 6:38 p.m., and the mother became concerned because [the child] hadn't made it home. When we got out there, the mother explained to us that the child was at the school and apparently someone placed the child on [a] bus, and the bus hadn't come yet."

Authorities did not release the child's identity.

McDonough Police Officer Darrell Fowler responded to the call, which reportedly came from a home on Cleveland Street. Fowler said the mother told him she made arrangements for her daughter to be picked up at the school, but that the child was not at the facility when her ride arrived.

"Someone at the school advised that someone else had offered to take the kids home [by bus]," said Fowler. "This was done without the parent's knowledge."

The officer said the girl's mother told police she did not sign a consent form for her daughter to be taken home by a bus driver.

According to Sgt. Boone, the girl's mother elected not to file a report with the agency, concerning the incident involving her daughter.

"She wanted to wait at least 30 more minutes to see if the bus would indeed bring the child home, because it had about 50 to 60 kids on the bus," said Boone. "She wanted to give the bus driver time to disperse the children."

Police said shortly after they received the call from the mother, the child was delivered by the school bus two blocks from her home, and walked to her residence.

"Officer Fowler ... [did] a welfare check, to make certain the child was OK, and apparently she was," said Boone.

Fowler said the girl's mother was "angry" at school officials following the incident.

Police did not give additional information about the student.

Henry County Schools Spokesperson Connie Rutherford said Friday she did not have enough information about the incident to comment.