Same name different kid: School bus driver nearly picks up wrong student from wrong school

PHOTO: Lianhe Wanbao

Same name, same kid? Not quite, it seems.

A school bus driver turned up to pick up a kindergarten student on Monday (Mar 1), not realising he had gone to the wrong school – Sparkletots, instead of My First Skool, which is located just a block away.

His actions alarmed the student's teacher, who quickly contacted the mother, the child's father told Lianhe Wanbao in an interview.

Neither of them recognised the bus driver, but the said driver knew their son's name.

"The man's phone had a name list, and my son's name was among them. I wanted to know why he had my child's name so I asked the teacher to hold him back, but he said he had to go fetch other kids and left just like that," the 36-year-old recounted.

Worried that someone was out to get their child, the father later filed a police report and posted about his experience on Facebook, where it went viral.

Things only came to light after a woman saw his post and contacted him to explain that their sons shared the same name, and her son was the person the bus driver had meant to fetch – but had gone to the next door kindergarten by accident.

"This was probably just a case of misunderstanding," she told the father. The school bus company had also reached out to clarify the situation, he confirmed.

In a statement to AsiaOne, Yvonne Tang, the Director of Strategic Planning & Communications for Sparkletots, said the safety, security and wellbeing of every child is their top priority. 

Hence, the staff would check the identity of the person fetching the students before personally hand them over. Should an unauthorised person try to fetch a child, the child's parents or guardian would be contacted. 

"We will not release the child if parent is uncontactable or if there is no such arrangement made by parents/guardians."

rainercheung@asiaone.com