Girl, 6, gets on bus as grandparents wait

9-5-13-salem keizer bus
Salem-Keizer school buses transport about 20,000 students every school day. Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, was the first day of the 2013-2014 school year. (KOIN 6 News)

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — For at least the second time since school started last week, another Salem first grader has gone through a school-bus mix up.

This time the bus was leaving the Kalapuya Elementary School in northwest Salem.

Liliana is 6 years old, and ended up on a school bus when she was supposed to be picked up at school every day by grandparents.

She was dropped off and picked up by her grandfather the first day of school last week. But on the second day, she managed to get a bus pass at school and get on a bus that took her near her home.  However, her parents were not there; that’s why her grandparents were driving her back and forth from their house.

The school realized — after Liliana was reported missing — that she had gotten on the bus.

Liliana’s grandparents and school staff drove around looking for her. It was a construction worker, near where she got off the school bus, that had the girl use his phone to call her family.

“Finally the phone rings, she’s crying,” her grandmother Nancy Hernandez told KOIN 6 News. “She says, ‘Nana, I went home on the bus, but there was nobody here.'”

She eventually made it home safely.

But this was just one day after two 6-year-old children at another Salem elementary school were dropped off at a wrong stop. They also eventually made their ways home.

Those 6-year-olds were just two of eight Salem-area kids left at wrong bus stops on the first day of school this past Wednesday, according to the Salem-Keizer school district.

A spokesperson for the Salem-Keizer Public Schools said this past week that it’s ultimately the child’s and parent’s responsibility to know which stop is theirs.

“Kids have to have an awareness of where they live and what their location is,” said Salem-Keizer Public Schools Director of Transportation Michael Shields in a KOIN 6 News interview Sept. 5.

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