Local father says 7-year-old left at wrong bus stop a mile away, picked up by stranger

MARION, Ark. — An Arkansas father is furious after he said his 7-year-old son, who is in the first grade, was dropped off the wrong bus stop by the school bus driver.

He also said a complete stranger then picked up his son and took him to his correct bus stop.

DeMarcus Watkins Sr. told FOX13 his son was dropped off near John H Johnson Boulevard on Aug. 15, which is more than a mile away from the child's original bus stop.

He was also dropped off on the side of the road because there are no sidewalks in that area.

Watkins said he wants an apology from Marion School District leaders after his son – who attends Herbert Carter Global Community Magnet School – was left at the wrong stop.

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"My biggest problem was when he got to this point and he was telling the driver and the driver's aid that this is not his right stop. No one really paid attention," Watkins said.

The family realized Watkins Jr. was missing when all the other kids were dropped off at their regular bus stop – except for him.

Watkins told FOX13 the bus driver gave his son the option to get off at John H Johnson Boulevard or go back to the bus terminal.

But a Good Samaritan saw the child walking toward the 400 block of Harvard Road where his stop is. There are no sidewalks on that road.

"A stranger picked him up and luckily a good-hearted person took him back to his grandmother's house," said Watkins.

The superintendent of Marion schools said they are reviewing bus video cameras to determine if procedure was followed. He said there is no question there could be improvements, and they plan to meet with the family Tuesday morning.

According to Watkins, the district took fault but gave no information about how or why it happened.

The superintendent said he spoke with the transportation director and said the child did not get off at his regular school bus stop last week but did get off at the next stop.