May 4, 2006
An Orange County family is petitioning the school board to take action against the teacher they say mistakenly sent their 6-year-old son walking miles home along a busy highway.
The child's mother said that a substitute teacher apparently got two students mixed up and sent the wrong one walking home. It wasn't until a bus driver spotted the first grader along Rt. 20 a mile from the school that school officials realized they had made a mistake.
"I could've been stolen or somebody could've picked me up," said Nicholas Jasper.
A week after a substitute teacher mistakenly sent him walking the 8-mile trip to his house, Nicholas Jasper is back on the bus he should have been on that day.
"I wondered why my mom would call and tell me to walk home," said Nicholas.
But the 6-year-old's mom, Barbara Jasper, says she never called Orange Elementary school and asked for him to walk home, instead it was another students' mom. It was an honest but serious mistake by the teacher that Jasper wants the school board to address.
"Thank God Nick is safe, but what if she makes another mistake," said Barbara Jasper.
Scared, but following his teachers orders, little Nicholas walked about a mile along a dangerous road until a bus driver spotted him.
"[She] got someone and recognized him and said this child needs to be picked up," said Jasper.
Angela Brown picked her little brother up from the school bus station.
"When he saw me and saw me upset, he started crying and I told him it wasn't his fault," said Brown.
Orange County school officials declined to comment on what disciplinary actions the teacher faces, but say she is still employed. The Jasper's hope that a petition they started will push the board to at least suspend her. In the meantime, Jaspers say she can't bear to think what could've have happened to her little boy.
"Somebody could've picked him up on the road and just taken him, and I wouldn't have known where [he was] or anything," said Jasper.
The Jasper family has met twice with the school board, but they still have not heard anything from the teacher who they say at the very least owes them an apology.