ARDEN HEIGHTS, Staten Island — It was a happy reunion between 5-year-old Alexander Tsoukas and his mom at the bus stop after a day at kindergarten. Just three weeks, a Pioneer school bus driver accidentally dropped the five-year-old off at the wrong bus stop nine blocks away even though his backpack clearly had the correct drop off location written on the tag.
“I went up to the driver and he said my son wasn’t there,” Catherine Litos, the mother, told PIX11 News. “The driver said ‘don’t panic’ maybe they left him back at the school."
But panic she did until she heard that another mother, who is also a paralegal at PS 42 in Eltingville, was at the bus stop where the kindergartner was mistakenly dropped off.
That mother called the school and stayed with the five-year-old until his mother arrived.
“It was the worst day of my life,” Litos said.
For three long weeks Catherine has been calling and calling, looking for answers from the Office of Pupil Transportation, part of the Department of Education.
A DOE spokeswoman issued the following statement to PIX11 News:
“It's our responsibility to get students to and from school safely, and a new driver has been assigned while we are investigating this incident.”
But that is not enough for this concerned mom.
“I think this is highlighting a bigger problem,” Lito said. “We need to assign a matron to the bus or have drivers trained better.”