2nd-grader left at wrong bus stop

HOUSTON – A second-grader at Cornelius Elementary in South Houston was forced to get off her bus at the wrong stop, her family said, and was found an hour later, alone and crying more than 5 miles from home.

The bus driver "said I have to get off because she had to go pick up, she had to go drop off all the other kids," 8-year-old Rolondan Chachere said. "She just left."

The regular bus stopped coming more than a week ago, her mother, Crystal Millburn, said. She dropped off and picked up her daughter for several days, sometimes late because Milburn works.

On Tuesday, Milburn said HISD finally responded to repeated requests for information, and told her Rolondan had been assigned a new bus because the district combined two bus routes. 

But, the new bus route didn't include Rolondan's old stop, she said, and she was dropped off at a place that she did not recognize. 

"I noticed the little girl was trying to cross the road so I rolled my window down, and I said to her, 'Are you OK?' And she didn’t say anything," Alesia Hines, who lives nearby, said. Rolondan "said to me, 'I was so scared there standing by myself I thought I was going to be kidnapped.' So, she was terrified!"

So was Milburn. But the stress turned to anger.

"I was livid," Milburn said. HISD "never apologized. They just said we let the bus driver know she cannot leave the child unattended."

HISD press secretary Tracy Clemons released the following statement Thursday about the incident:

"Our records show the parents have requested the student be picked up and dropped off at various locations along the route over several days. This inconsistency has not only been confusing for the driver, but it does not follow HISD Transportation procedure, which asks parents/guardians to provide updates or changes to pick up and drop off locations with the school. Our transportation department will work with the school and the parent directly to determine how to continue serving this student in the safest way possible."

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