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Woman pulls daughters out of charter school after school bus mishap

Other parents report similar issues at Central Charter in Lauderdale Lakes

LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. – A South Florida mother is livid after her 5-year-old daughter was put on the wrong bus Tuesday and taken to a day care.

Desiree Furlong told Local 10 News reporter Sanela Sabovic Wednesday that neither of her daughters would be continuing to attend Central Charter School in Lauderdale Lakes.

"They only have one chance to make a mistake with my kids," Furlong said. "What if my child wasn't returned? What would they have told me as her mother? There's nothing that can replace my child, no words, nothing. I trusted her in their custody and they failed. They were clueless that my child was even missing."

Broward Sheriff's Office deputies said Shinelle Isaac was reported missing by her parents about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

According to the girl's family, the kindergarten student was supposed to get on a school bus to go home with her older sister, but instead was put on the wrong bus by her teacher, Ms. Dixon, and was taken to a nearby day care center. 

The teacher, Amoye Bennett-Dixon, told Local10.com that she is not in charge of putting students on buses.

Furlong said her daughter was taken to Teddy Bear Child Care at 4340 W. Oakland Park Blvd., a 24-hour day care center.

A boy in seventh grade said Shinelle's older sister made the bus driver circle around the school looking for the girl, and said she also spoke to a teacher while trying to find her younger sister.

Furlong said the family posted a photo of the missing girl on Facebook, and a worker at the day care saw the post and contacted authorities.

School administrators sent an email to parents after Shinelle was found, saying that she was "picked up by an unauthorized aftercare vendor," and that there would be "new outside aftercare vendor pick-up policies and procedures."

 


Furlong told Local 10 News that she received an apology from school officials, but said a security guard would not let her walk into the front office Wednesday morning to speak with the principal.

"I still need answers. I'm not letting this go. She was somewhere (and) it could have been an abductor who took my child," Furlong said. "She could have never returned to me. I still need answers."

Other parents whose children attend the school said they have experienced similar issues.

One woman, who did not want to be identified, said her daughter is supposed to be dropped off by 2:45 p.m., but arrived home once last year at 6:30 p.m.

"That day when I couldn't find my daughter, it was the most horrific thing ever," the mother said. "Nobody could tell me where she was."

The woman said a substitute bus driver, who wasn't familiar with the routes, was at fault for that incident.

"That's another terrifying thing -- to know that you drop your child off at school, and then you don't know where she is at after," she said. 

The mother said the school never apologized to her and that there is an issue with transportation at the school every year.

Parents were also vocal about the issue in the comment section of Local10.com.

"It's the school's responsibility to make sure the kids get on the right bus," Felicia Shreeves-Brown wrote. "They are not organized. They put my friend's daughter on the school bus yesterday when her school records show that she gets picked up. They're careless and need to do better. This child could have been kidnapped or seriously hurt."

Another commenter, Kris Ivory, added: "This is the worst school in the world. I'm pulling my kids out. My kids don't get home until after 7 and the bus is always an hour later picking them up."

School officials have not returned Local 10 News' request for comment.


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