RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond Public Schools mother says she is frustrated after her teenage daughter was left on the side of the highway after a fight broke out on a bus ride to class in December.
Mistry McQueen says she is outraged that her 17-year-old daughter, a Huguenot High School senior, was left on the side of the highway
“RPS stands for ‘No Child Left Behind.’ Well, if no child is left behind, why was my child on the side of the highway? That is the true definition of a child left behind,” McQueen said.
McQueen says her daughter’s first class of the day requires her to go to Richmond Technical Center before finishing at Huguenot High School. On Wednesday, Dec. 14, however, her daughter never made it back to campus.
“No parent should have to go through that fear, that level of fear,” McQueen said. “I wouldn’t put that on my worst enemy.”
According to an RPS spokesperson, a fight broke out on the school bus, causing the bus driver to pull over to the side of the road in an attempt to de-escalate the situation. McQueen’s daughter then exited the rear emergency door of the bus. The bus driver then asked her daughter to get back on the bus but McQueen says she felt uncomfortable and refused.
As a result, the driver left the student on the side of the road and drove away with the rest of the class. Not long after, McQueen says she received a call from her daughter asking to be picked up.
“Anything could’ve happened. My child is 110 pounds, soaking wet,” she said. “If it was that hard for me to see her, it would have been that hard for a driver to see her and they could have hit her.”
While RPS denied 8News’ request for an interview a spokesperson released the following statement:
Unfortunately, the driver did not report the incident per our standard of protocols. As a result, the driver is now on leave, and employee relations is investigating the incident further for additional possible employment actions. We cannot comment any further on the status of the driver as it is a personnel matter. We take this and any incident involving the safety of our students very seriously; our students’ and staff safety is our top priority. We are grateful the student is safe but would like to emphasize the importance to all students to never exit a bus in dangerous traffic conditions.
McQueen said she is hopeful that the internal investigation will lead to further action.