School Loses Kids & Tries to Have Dad Arrested


school busPicture this. You're waiting at the bus stop where you pick up your 5- and 7-year-old daughters every day at the exact same time. Except your babies never show. So you wait around for awhile, then you hop in your car and drive up to school to find out what the heck happened to your precious little darlings.

And the school threatens to have you arrested. Whoa. Ho. Are you feeling ranty yet?

That's allegedly what happened to C.J. Blair, a father of two little girls in Maryland. When his girls didn't come home as usual, he went to the school, then learned his 5- and 7-year-olds had been placed on the wrong bus. And it gets worse. Because dad had left the bus stop to try to find out what had happened to his daughters, the new bus dropped them off across the street from their regular stop with no one there to care for them.

Blair says police were called to handle him as though he were causing a ruckus. The school is trying to claim it was just to have their help in finding the kids, but the 911 records show it was a call about a "disorderly male." And as one school official told the Washington Post, "He acts in such a way that the staff are fearful."

Gee. You think? You tell any parent in America that the school has lost their child, and you better believe they're going to get disorderly. We're talking about a displaced human being here! I'd be making the staff pretty fearful if they couldn't tell me what happened to my 5-year-old too. I wouldn't get physically violent -- and there's no sign Blair did either -- but some heads would certainly roll. Which is why I find this whole story so troubling.

The school district made a major no no. They literally put two little girls who are unable to fend for themselves in physical danger. If I, as a parent, left my 5-year-old alone on a street, I would be arrested for child neglect. Why isn't the shoe on the other foot?

It's true that everyone makes mistakes, and school districts deal with so many kids on a day-to-day basis that we're fortunate they don't make more. You can call it live and let live, but that means there has to be some leeway for parents like CJ Blair too. Because while our kids are "just one kid" to a large school district, they are still a kid, still a human being. And as parents it's our job to expect that our kid is a priority -- even among thousands of other kids.

The district got very lucky -- unable to get into their locked house, the girls fortunately walked to the home of an acquaintance, who cared for them until Blair was able to go get them. But if this went another way, you'd be looking at some charges ... and not for Mr. Blair.

Do you think parents have a right to get "disorderly" when the foul against their kids is this egregious?

Image via basheertome/Flickr

education, elementary school, family


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cassi... cassie_kellison

If they actually file I suit, I would dang well be filing a counter suit. Thats such a terrifying feeling for a parent, I got a little panicky just reading this.

meatb... meatball77

It doesn't sound like they tried to have him arrested, it sounds like they called someone in because they were worried that things were going to get out of control.  If school staff fears that someone is going to get violent then they absulutly should call the police so they can come and diffuse the situation.

DebaLa DebaLa

I call 'red herring' on the 'disorderly' claim as a diversion for their own consciousness of guilt, and so he won't make trouble for them.

Our bus driver is not allowed to drop off unless the parent is there and recognized.

Knitt... KnittinMama

What? Lose my kids you are screwed. Thats all there is to it. Everybody who has ever met me knows that. Ive had cops step away from me when a woman hurt my daughter. I have tunnel vision when it comes to my family. Nobody misses my fury.

jalaz77 jalaz77

WHY are there so many stories out there about these kids getting on the wrong bus, kids getting left on a bus, or the bus driver left kids ALONE etc etc.....there has got to be a better system for these poor kids. They are 5 and 7 years old!! What if some freak took off with them? This could have ended so badly....This is uncalled for, no question about it! My kids would be yanked from that school. Isn't there an attendance thing for these drivers and kids? I am just curious, my kids are to young for the bus and this is why my kids will never take a bus. 

nonmember avatar Sassy

I used to walk home alone from school all the time at their age! You parents are blowing this way out of proportion. Children are way to protected these days. The dad probably overreacted. And he could have made a phone call instead of being so dumb and going down there. Buses are equipped with radios and can C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-E.

momto... momtothemax2910

Go Daddy go. Hell yes we can get disorderly. I trust you with my kids and you lose them?!?? Sorry. That totally calls for disorderly conduct.

Sara Jennings

Getting disorderly isn't going to find your kid faster or help anyone in anyway in that situation.

Joyce Stafford

Something like this happened to my son on his very first day of Kindergarten. He rode the bus to school, but was supposed to stay at the school for after school care. I had taken care of all the registration papers well in advance, I had even driven to the school to meet his bus in the morning and walk him to class- to make sure the teacher new. Low and behold 3:45 came and I get a call from the school yelling at me for not having anyone waiting at the bus stop for him. I let them have it good, right up one side and down the other. They were apologizing to me for months. I was so pissed off, that’s my sons first day of school memory, a big ol’ cluster*f.

Megan Yelekli

some of the bus drivers (at least mine) will not leave small elementary kids at stops without adults or someone to pick them up present, or they will wait to make sure the kid gets into their house before they leave. This might be because my bus driver lives less than a mile away, but still. They should enforce that rule on all the busses, regardless of circumstances. At  least make sure the kid gets inside before you floor it away.

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