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Mom: DPS bus driver lost 6-year-old

Posted at 8:07 PM, Oct 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-01 22:07:30-04

Hanging off 6-year-old Akya Bivin's backpack is a note from his mother that even he can read.

"It says if my brother isn't outside the middle school, I can wait in the office," said Bivin.

His mother, Sandra Bivin, wrote the note to spell out where her son needs to get off the bus every day -- at his brother's middle school.

"There's not one day where it's been a different situation; it's been the same every day since school started," said Sandra Bivin.

So when Akya did not show up at the middle school Tuesday, and bus dispatchers did not know where he was, Bivin called police to report her son was missing.

"As you can probably imagine I was freaking out," she said. "I just don't know what to do."

Nicole Portee, the executive director of Transportation at DPS, said the district immediately investigated what happened.

Portee said they could not find Akya initially because he has not been scanning his pass when getting on and off the bus.

As it turns out, Akya had gotten off the bus at the wrong school -- Montbello High School -- after he saw a relative and told the driver he was supposed to get off.

Portee said that drivers have to listen to students, and Akya had been released to that relative in the past.

Akya rides the Success Express, a bus route that only goes from school to school in northeast Denver, so it is not uncommon for students to sometimes get off at different schools. 

"On occasion there are families that will use different bus stops. It is not unusual for us to allow students off at a different bus stop," said Portee. "Ms. Bivin is a frequent caller and on occasion she has asked for her student to be released with a student or relative."

But Bivin said she had not called, and her son had very specific instructions, written on his backpack.

"He is six. He doesn't get to make the rules," said Bivin.

She said this is actually the third time her son has not ended up where he was supposed to be because of this bus driver.

Twice, Bivin said, the bus driver kept him on the bus instead of letting him off at the middle school because his brother was not waiting outside.

"I've made it clear to them that he has permission to wait in the office if his brother is not outside," said Bivin. "I don't know what else to do."

Fortunately, on Tuesday, his cousin got him home safely, and while the district said the bus driver did nothing wrong, Portee promised that Akya won't get lost again.

"We have a solution in place to ensure that her student is safe, and we will re-earn her trust in our transportation system," said Portee. "We take our jobs seriously, and safety is our number one priority."

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