Missing five-year-old was found “petrified” and banging on the doors of a school bus almost five hours after she was reported missing on her first day back at school.
Bobbie Langdon contacted authorities on Monday afternoon when her daughter, Alyssa Jayde New, did not get off the bus from Jimboomba State School, south of Brisbane, reports ABC news.
Police set up patrols of the Jimboomba and Yarrabilba areas and locals joined the search for the year one student.
Ms Langdon said her daughter was finally found about 7:30pm at the school bus depot at Logan.
“Alyssa was located petrified and crying banging on the school bus doors to get out,” she wrote on Facebook.
The Queensland Police Service said the child had been found safe and well after falling asleep on the bus.
Ms Langdon said Alyssa would not return to the school.
“My daughter will not be attending Jimboomba State School anymore and Logan coaches will be hearing from my family lawyer,” she said.
A spokesman for Logan Coaches confirmed the matter was being investigated but refused to elaborate further.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said bus companies needed to ensure its vehicles were empty before going to the depot.
“I think it would have been a horrific few hours for the parents not knowing what happened to their daughter, thankfully she has been found safe,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“This is a wake-up call to the bus companies … but also we need to make sure young students are familiar with their bus routes as well.”
Ms Palaszczuk said her education and transport ministers would be talking to Logan Coaches to investigate how the incident occurred.
“I hope the bus company will do a review about how that happened and ensure that it definitely does not happen again,” she said.
The online abuse was horrifying
Online commenters were quick to question Ms Langdon’s motives and aske why her five-year-old daughter was riding the bus alone.
She was also ridiculed for asking people for donations so she ‘can take her away to Dreamworld for a few days.’
“Why wasn’t someone waiting at the bus stop for her? It’s the first day back after holidays. Kids are always tired that first week. Before mum starts pointing fingers she should look at herself.”
“I agree! Why would you let a 5 year old child take the bus alone is beyond me??!!?”
“5 years old. First day of school I know I wouldn’t let my 5 yo get the bus alone even a school bus.”
“She is only 5!??! Grade 1…….. why was she taking the bus in the first place?? Why wasn’t someone picking her up from school?”
“Mum needs to seriously look at herself first!”
“What kind of mum sends their five year old on a bus?”
At least one person was understanding though, “The people saying she’s too young to take the bus many children at that age take the bus especially in regional areas there’s nothing wrong with it. Mostly they are dropped to bus by a parent and picked up by a parent and because it’s regional the driver gets to know the kids. I live in Sydney now but used to live in regional NSW where my dad is a School bus driver.”
The criticism was not welcomed by Ms Langdon, who replied: “I’ll be pressing charges on you and every other person that made comments on my life and the way I live! How f***ing dare you make judgment on me or my family over social media.’
What a terrifying ordeal for them. My instant thought was that she fell asleep on the bus. That’s pretty poor of the bus service. Why target the poor mum?
As a non-driver myself, if we didn’t live across the road from the school, my children would have had to bus each day as well. How does that make me a bad parent? Stop judging other people’s choices!
Do they still have bus monitors as well to help the young ones? MANY young families have to rely on buses.
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