A mom on TikTok claims that a school bus driver made her 5-year-old daughter get off the bus even though there was no adult to receive her—and this was after administrators were notified that someone would be at the school to pick the child up.
A TikToker user, who posts under the handle Jay’mes Stephens (@tatiyana_noali), posted a video on Thursday that shows her confronting the employees of Horry County Schools Transportation in South Carolina. The TikToker claims that the bus driver ignored instructions to return her daughter to the school, where the child’s grandmother was waiting.
Instead, the driver made the child get off the bus near a busy road and a pond, and left her with no adult supervision for more than an hour.
“Who dropped my 5-year-old off, so [unintelligible] can cross the f*cking road by herself near a pond? She was missing for over an hour!” the woman yells.
The frustrated mother also calls out the employees for not answering her questions and instead recording her on their phones. “Yeah, you’re refusing to help me, you’d rather record. F*ck y’all … This shit is about to be everywhere,” she says in the video, as an unidentified employee points his phone towards her.
They really dont care about our kids!!! They lost my child!!! RIVER OAKS ELEMENTARY!!!!MYRTLE BEACH!♬ original sound – Jay'mes Stephens
The post has gone viral with over 2.1 million views and a number of comments from outraged and sympathetic viewers.
“What does HE think he’s recording,” one incredulous user asked.
“That’s not right! Your reaction is 100% valid!!!! I’m so sorry that happened to you,” wrote another.
In a follow-up that has received 148,000 views, Jay’mes shares a screenshot of a Facebook post in which she explains the situation in more detail. She writes that the school had been informed that someone would be there to pick up her daughter, but despite that, the school bus driver had the child get off the bus and “allowed her to cross a busy road right next to a gas station and a pond” by herself.
Jay’mes notes, “my child could’ve been dead snatched or in that pond in the 1 hour and a half it took for them to inform us that the bus driver … didn’t have my child.”
She adds that once it was determined that the child was missing, the school and the transportation office did little to help. “All they said to my mom was she was dropped off and ‘let me know when you find her!'” Jay’mes also says that her daughter was “noticeably upset” when she finally located her.
The TikToker’s last post about the incident, which received 179,000 views, appears to take place in the office of a school or transportation administrator, it is unclear which.
The man listens to her but doesn’t seem to have, or want to give her any additional information regarding the bus driver or what action the school would be taking to rectify the situation. He also says that if Jay’mes plans to retain a lawyer, that the lawyer would have to formally request any further information because of “freedom of information.”
In the comments section of each post, TikTokers shared their own experiences of similar incidents and expressed their anger at the bus driver and how the school handled the situation.
“My daughter school dropped her off on the opposite side of town when she was 5 i found her alone and crying,” one commenter wrote.
“If this is their response then just call a lawyer,” another suggested.
“Go to the news immediately! that driver needs to be FIRED,” a third person advised.
“Seminole County did the SAME thing TWICE with my autistic 7 yr old. Dropped him off near a busy road without handing him directly to an adult,” someone else shared.
“This is one of my fears of public schools,” wrote another user.
The Daily Dot reached out to Jay’mes via TikTok direct message and to Horry County Schools Transportation via email for further comment.