Autistic student bussed to wrong elementary school, DCPS blames bus company

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville father says his 5-year-old son, who has non-verbal autism, got on the right bus but he was dropped off at the wrong school.


Jaxon Jones attends Biscayne Elementary School in kindergarten, but earlier this week he was taken by the bus about two miles away to Garden City Elementary.

“This could’ve gone horribly wrong. No parent should have to go through this,” Raymond Jones said.

Jaxon couldn’t tell anyone he was in the wrong place because he couldn’t talk. Luckily one of the teachers at Garden City knew who he was and got him to the correct place before anything could happen.

“If he doesn’t know any better, you know how Dunn Avenue is — especially by Garden City, traffic is zipping back and forth. He could’ve just ran out there. Thank god that didn’t happen,” Jones said.

The bus was operated by Student Transportation of America. A company representative confirmed it is aware of the situation and investigating.

Dr. Angel Wildes with the Cornerstone Special Education Alliance said if a student with a disability misses too much schooling, it could be a violation of their Free Appropriate Public Education. It’s a guarantee under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the district could be responsible.

“Check your kids and where they go at mainly so kids get there safely — where they’re supposed to go at,” Jones said.

In a statement, a representative for Duval County Public Schools said:

“We regret that this situation occurred, and our transportation team is attempting to reach the parents to apologize personally. The cause of this incident appears to be an error on the part of the STA employees involved. The personnel on this bus will receive counseling and retraining. We are also requesting that they label seats with student names and schools, as many bus drivers do, to help prevent anything like this in the future. Again, our apologies go out to the student and the family.”

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