Urbana boy, 5, dropped off at wrong bus stop on first day of school

An Urbana mom said she had the scare of her life after her 5-year-old son was allowed off the bus a stop early — two blocks away from their home.

Kasey Bird’s son, Liam Bird, started kindergarten Wednesday at the Urbana City School District. Bird said she and her mother were waiting for Liam to get off the bus, when he didn’t show up.

“I was like, ‘Where is Liam Bird?’ and they were like, ‘He got off at the other stop,’” Bird said.

That’s when Bird said she took off running to where the bus driver said they dropped off Liam.

“I was thinking, I’m going to find my baby in the middle of the street or someone took him,” Bird said.

Thankfully, Liam managed to make it home, where he was met by his mom. He was supposed to be dropped off by his school bus at the corner of Ward and Jefferson, instead, he was dropped off at another stop two blocks away.

“I know mistakes happen but that mistake was my child,” Bird said.

The oversight happened after an Urbana bus driver failed to check Liam’s bus tag, which states where he is supposed to be dropped off.

Urbana Superintendent Charles Thiel said the district has undergone a lot of changes when it comes to busing, and on the first day, those were put to the test.

“We take the transportation of our students very serious. It is probably as a superintendent, one of the biggest worries I have on an annual basis,” Thiel said.

But that doesn’t excuse what happened, Thiel said.

“The communication to our drivers is to make sure you’re checking those bus tags so this doesn’t happen again,” Thiel said.

Bird said she hopes Urbana City Schools can fix the issue, but at this point, she doesn’t expect to put her son back on the school bus this year.

“I’m so thankful he knew exactly where he was going, cause if it wasn’t for that, I would have been planning a funeral or putting up pictures of him looking for my baby,” Bird said.

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