School bus mix-up with 3-year-old boy

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- A miscommunication on a school bus that leaves a Kennewick mother scared out of her wits. She had no idea where her 3-year-old special needs son was. She didn't find out until after she got off work hours later. We went straight to the school district for answers.

It's a job that's often underestimated. Driving dozens of children safely back and forth to school. Memorizing routes, stops and names. Just one mistake could threaten a child's life.

"He's safe at his school. He's safe at his daycare, but the bus I worry about," said mother Nicole Hawkins.

Nicole's fear comes from experience. Almost two weeks ago, a bus driver dropped off her son at the wrong building mistaking him for another kid. Luckily, that building belonged to the school district. Her son was safe, but the district didn't tell Nicole about the switch.

"They are paid to keep our children safe and I don't feel like my child is safe there," described Hawkins.

The district apologized and Nicole thought it was over. Then, another mistake happened last week. Her son was dropped off later than expected. The district didn't call the daycare to explain the delay.

We took Nicole's questions to the district.

Reporter: "What action might be taken against this particular driver?"
"At this time, I can't speak to any personnel actions that might be taken," responded Kennewick School District Communication Robyn Chastain.

Any discipline is protected by privacy laws. However, officials say they're going over the proper procedures with bus drivers.

"Sometimes mistakes are made, but I can tell you that it's our priority to make sure that students are safe while they're in our care, and that they're all delivered home safely," said Chastain.

Nicole says she's the superintendent has apologized repeatedly.

"I feel like they're being serious. Like they really want a solution about this," said Hawkins.

Nicole says the district now says that her son will be the first kid dropped off from now on. A personal solution to stop another mix-up. We covered a mix-up with a school bus last year in Kennewick. The district worked to make a change. It sent parents a notification card that stated routes and arrival times could shift the first few weeks.