Enraged father confronts school officials after his daughter is left behind multiple times by schoolbus drivers
A father confronting school authorities after his five-year-old daughter was left behind by school bus drivers on multiple occasion has gone viral, prompting the Georgia elementary school to extend their apologies to the concerned parents.
After learning that the school bus driver had driven off without his young daughter for the third time, Tristan King was seen in the video footage confronting the staff at Norton Elementary school in Snellville. The footage has garnered over 2.2 million views and over 34,000 shares.
Speaking to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he revealed how his son, who is studying in grade 4, called him to tell him about the incident, People reports. “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 said.
Since his daughter had been left behind on other occasions as well and lack of any action by the authorities despite complaints saw a frustrated King going to the school on February 28 to talk to officials.
In a Facebook post later that day, he said that school authorities had threatened to ban him from the property unless he came in with a police escort.
“The first time I was calm and understanding, because I understand it could happen,” King says 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 doesn’t know where his sister is.”
“My son told them to stop," King’s wife adds in the footage. "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.”
Speaking to People, Roach said that school officials have since apologized for the incident and in a March 7 letter written to parents, Principal Melanie Lee claimed that King's daughter had simply missed the school bus and wasn't lost.
“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 letter. “There is no question that ensuring that students get to and from school safely is the school and school system’s responsibility."
Sloan Roach, a spokeswoman for Gwinnett County Public Schools, said, “Mr. King had every right to be upset and the whole thing wasn’t handled well. School officials have reviewed things on their end and some new policies and procedures have been put in place.”
Now, Roach says school officials have arranged to have King’s daughter and son escorted to the bus each day and that the new arrangement "is working well" for King's family.
However, King claims the issue has not been completely resolved as the new plan was allegedly followed only for a few weeks before it went back to the way things were.
“I haven’t spoken to anyone,” he said. “I’m worried that this is an epidemic that has been swept under the rug.”