MOORE, Okla. - A Moore mother said her daughter was forced to walk miles home after forgetting her bus number.
“She doesn’t feel safe at the school she’s assigned to. She doesn’t feel protected and she doesn’t feel respected,” Bethany Jarrett said.
Jarrett said her 12-year-old daughter walked the two-and-a-half-mile trek home from Highland West Middle School on the first day of school.
“She was sobbing. She was bright red and sweat through her clothes. She had no access to water on the walk home,” Jarrett said. “She went to the office to ask for help and she told me she was told, ‘Guess or walk home.’”
Jarrett said the adults in the office wouldn’t even let the girl look up her mom’s phone number to call for help.
“My contact info is on no less than 43 sheets of paper in this district. I have six kids. Five of them go to Moore Public Schools. There’s no reason why I could not have been contacted,” Jarrett said.
The school responded with this statement:
“We have been investigating the situation that occurred yesterday whereas a Highland West Junior High student walked home after school due to not knowing her bus number. We have conducted interviews and pulled video to identify where the confusion occurred and how to prevent this from happening in the future.
The student did seek help at the end of the school day from an employee. However, she did not receive the information needed and then walked home. There were other students in the office who also forgot their bus number, they received the information needed and rode their bus home. Forgetting bus numbers and other information is not abnormal for the first days of school. Highland West intentionally delayed all bus routes by 10-15 minutes yesterday to help students with first day bus numbers/route uncertainty.
Our students and staff are all adjusting to school-day routines, which can be confusing and hectic at times. Ultimately, we provide transportation as a service for the safety of our students and continuously seek ways for improvement. Modifications were made this afternoon to help inform all students of their bus number.”
Jarrett said what happened to her daughter is inexcusable and let her stay home from school on Friday.
“We are working towards getting her transferred to another junior high in the district that will hopefully be able to not make her walk two and a half miles in the heat,” Jarrett said.