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Girl from Valparaiso, 5, waits in the cold for 2 hours after being sent home on a school bus instead of being picked up by daycare

VALPARAISO, Ind. (WLS) – A 5-year-old girl in Valparaiso waited outside her empty house in the cold for two hours after being put on a bus home from school instead of daycare.

Tabatha Schweller said her daughter Raelynne attends kindergarten at Washington Township Elementary School and Little U Academy daycare. Last Friday, her daughter was taken by bus and dropped off at the house, where no one was, and left outside in the cold for two hours, instead of being put on the bus to daycare, Schweller said. She only discovered it when she went to look for it.

“I said, ‘Where’s Raelynne?’ And she looked at me and said, ‘She’s not here,’ ”Schweller said.

Schweller said the daycare staff member went to check again.

“She opened the door and didn’t look at me or say anything, and I said, ‘Where’s Raelynne ?!’ And she said, “She’s not here.” And I said, you mean to tell me my baby is missing? “she remembers.

The panicked mother ran home, frantically calling for her family, but found her daughter at home.

“Her backpack and coat was by the front door and I was screaming for her, her name, and she was like ‘Mum! Mom! “,” Schweller said.

She said Raelynne had been alone outside the house for two hours in sub-zero temperatures. Fortunately, she found refuge in Schweller’s boyfriend’s work vehicle.

“She was shaking. I had to take her to the hospital,” Schweller said.

East Porter County School Corporation officials said the girl had a substitute teacher that day, who put her on the bus home instead of going to daycare.

“It gave us the opportunity to look at how it happened and what training steps we need to go through as a district to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Dr. Aaron Case, Superintendent.

Little U Academy said in a statement they traveled to Washington Township Elementary to pick up the girl on Friday, but she was not at the designated location. The daycare collects the students after boarding the school buses according to the protocol. While picking up another child at school, officials said their staff asked where the girl was, but school staff told them she was “not to look for that day “.

However, Schweller showed ABC7 Eyewitness News a note signed by the principal claiming that this had not happened. She believes the school, the daycare and the bus driver are all at fault.

“Three people missed it and it could have cost her her life,” she said.

Schweller said she plans to take legal action to get justice for her daughter so that it never happens to any other parent again.

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