Minutes seem like hours for kindergartnerBY CHUCK TUCK | JOURNAL REPORTER Bus takes him for a ride while mother is waiting at the school Five-year-old Anthony Barbano usually waits for a ride after school from his mother Yvette, but last Friday he stepped into the wrong line and mistakenly got onto a school bus.
On a typical day, Anthony will get out of school around 2:50 p.m. and step into one of two lines, one for bus riders and the other for students waiting to be picked up by an adult. Walkers, as they are called, are the first to leave the class, before the end-of-the-day bell rings.
Bus riders leave after the walkers and go to a different area where they are to wait in a color coded area with lines designating which bus they are to board.
Lake Stevens School District spokesperson Arlene Hulten said that Anthony’s class at Skyline Elementary, had a substitute on the day the incident happened, and that the end-of-day procedures may have been a little different than normal.
When Anthony’s mother arrived at school she waited for awhile but didn’t see her son come out. Yvette became concerned and notified the school office that her son was not where he was supposed to be.
Using their two-way radio system the school was able to locate Anthony on one of the busses within two minutes Hulten said.
But what happened next was more frightening for little Anthony.
With the bus still having several more stops to make, the driver instructed the boy to remain seated and they would return to the school afterwards.
However, Anthony departed the bus at one of those stops along the way when a big group of children got off the bus.
The driver noticed almost immediately that Anthony was missing and hurried back to find the boy but was too late; a parent at the bus stop spotted Anthony looking scared and crying and called the police.
According to Hulten, the transportation office said that the bus would have only taken a couple of minutes to return to where the boy had departed the bus.
Things like this don’t occur often at schools, and most all schools have systems in check making sure incidents like this won’t happen, and Skyline is no different.
Hulten said that they will “look into the system again,” and that there are “all kinds of procedures” in place to make sure that incidents like this don’t happen, but they are going over everything in detail.