Teacher doesn't put student on bus home - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Teacher doesn't put student on bus home

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 by Jolene Toves

Guam - What would you do if your child didn't come home after school? For one family in Dededo this was the scare of a lifetime.

It is every parents worse nightmare sending your child to school in the morning but in the afternoon does not come home.

This was the reality for Elisa Gumabon when she noticed her kindergarten daughter who attends Maria Ulloa Elementary School was not on the bus. "They are usually bus riders what it is is I usually get off of my first job and I wait for them at the bus stop and my son comes up to me in the car and he goes mom I can't find Rhianna so I was like what do you mean you can't find Rhianna then he goes she didn't get on the bus so I was like get in we are going to go to the school," she recalled.

Panicked and afraid Gumabon called the school and frantically drove from the bus stop to the school in search for her daughter. It was on the drive back to the school that she found Rhianna, and she said, "On my way to school I found her in front of Kaelas Mart with two a lady and a guy who is a regular customer at my second job luckily you know it was them I got down I was so shocked to see her I didn't know what to do so they were telling me that they were asking her name and last name you know and she (woman) didn't even know she was my daughter."

Gumabon says the couple that found her daughter wanted to ensure that Rhianna was safe. "They told me that they had saw a Micronesian guy in a Sienna van I think calling her but then you know she was like come here baby come to me," she said.

Tiny Rhianna walked nearly a half-mile making her way past a neighborhood full of dogs, two intersections and passing motorists walking nearly half a mile ending up at Kaela's Mart. Although Gumabon was happy and thankful she had found her daughter she wanted answers, how could this happen and why wasn't her daughter on the bus to begin with?

And after talking with the school and the teacher it appears there was some confusion.

"She was saying I guess it was her mistake she didn't know that Rhianna had went with the walkers she was saying when she usually divides her students its walkers bus riders and I guess car riders she said she told the walkers to go ahead and go their designated area and then with the bus riders hey put them on their side and she said she thought Rhianna had gotten on the bus," she said.

But according to Gumabon Rhianna's older brother who also rides the same bus got off even before they left the school searching for his sister approaching the teacher asking where Rhianna was and was told she was already on the bus. Gumabon says this experience was very frightening and disappointing as it could have been prevented from the minute her son approached the teacher. She says anything could have happened to her daughter on the half mile trek.

According to Gumabon the school's administration and DOE have ensured her that they are looking into the matter and will see what preventative measures can be put in place to ensure this does not happen again. 


We should note that a letter to parents informing them of the tightened dismissal procedures was sent home today and effective on Monday only students who are verified residents within walking distance of the school will be allowed to walk out the gate. 

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