ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - Donald Vaughn faced a huge scare on Monday as a bus driver dropped off his daughters at the wrong stop - the former Boys and Girls Club location along North Road Street, which is now closed, instead of the new location on Parkview Drive.
“Having a mistake like this and being like, ‘Oops, it happened and it won’t happen again,'” Vaughn said, “what happens if my kid was the one that was missing right now? What are you going to say to me then?"
The two girls, ages 6 and 7, are provided transportation from their elementary school to the Boys and Girls Club.
“They got onto the bus and they drove past the location of where they were supposed to be dropped off at,” Vaughn recalled.
The former location has signs on the door windows that announce the site’s closure. Vaughn said the driver drove off after dropping off the children.
“My daughters went up to the building, banged on the doors. Doors were locked to realize that one, the building was closed; there was nobody in there,” Vaughn said. “When I talked to my daughter about it, she literally said, ‘I thought somebody was going to take us.’ For me as a parent, that’s troublesome."
Vaughn recalled his daughters telling him they tried to wave down a police officer, but they said the officer did not notice them. Then, another parent saw the two girls and called the police.
He contacted the elementary school, to which, according to Vaughn, they said, “We’re sorry; we’ll make sure this never happens again.' Well, this should never have happened in the first place."
Vaughn said he also called the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools transportation office. He described the response he received.
“When I called them to notify them about it, [saying], ‘You dropped my daughters off at the wrong location,’” Vaughn explained, “telling him the story, he cut me off and was like, 'Sorry, sir. This is the busiest day. We’ve got buses everywhere, everything is behind schedule; we apologize.’”
He also reached out to the Boys and Girls Club. In a statement, the Boys and Girls Club told News 3, "As a result of this incident, we have contacted the school to remind them of the change in location and ensure that all bus drivers are aware of our change in location."
"I confirmed with the Boys and Girls Club, 'Hey, what address did you give the school to tell them that you guys have?'" Vaughn said. "They showed me, 'This is the address we gave them right here.'"
In a statement, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools said the “stop was in error and corrections to the route have been made to prevent this [from] happening again”
ECPPS transportation services made a stop on Monday, August 23, 2021, at a former youth/after-school care location allowing students to depart the bus. The address recently changed for this organization. This stop was in error and corrections to the route have been made to prevent this happening again. We are thankful for the safety of the students in this situation. Safety is of the utmost importance to ECPPS.
Vaughn, however, is taking precautionary steps.
“I went to Apple to purchase the little tracking tags that I’m going to put with my daughters so I can be able to see their movements,” Vaughn said. “They need to hold everyone accountable, and they need to understand the level of care that they have for these kids."