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'I was lost' | Kindergartener let off at wrong Katy ISD bus stop, spent 45 minutes wandering neighborhood alone

"He was lost, scared, hot," the boy's mom said.

KATY, Texas — A Katy ISD mom wants answers after she says her five-year-old son got off at the wrong bus stop and was left wandering around the wrong neighborhood for 45 minutes alone. 

Thankfully, a family found him and returned him to his school, but his mom said it could’ve ended so much worse. 

August 16 was a big day for 5-year-old CJ Penn. It was his first day of kindergarten and his first time ever riding the bus home - but that took a troubling turn. 

"I was lost there," CJ said. 

His mom Nadine Penn says she was waiting at his bus stop, but when he didn't get off, she asked the driver where CJ was. 

"She said, 'Well, that's it, that's all the kids.' And my kid's not there. So of course, I panicked," Nadine said. 

Nadine went to CJ's school. She said an employee told her he might be on a different bus so she went back to the bus stop to wait. And that's when she got a call from his teacher.

"And she's like, 'Hey your son is up here and a family dropped him off. They found him wandering outside,'" Nadine said. 

CJ was safe, but not until after he'd wandered around lost for 45 minutes. 

"I was lost," CJ said. "From there, walked on that path."

He's only five. CJ can't explain exactly where he went, but his mom says CJ went around the neighborhood looking for her. 

"That way," CJ said. "Or maybe that way."

"He was lost, scared, hot," Nadine said. 

Until, a family found him.

"They picked him up and they took him back to the school," Nadine said. 

Today, he's okay, but Nadine is not.

"If it wasn't for that family, I may have not ever seen him again," Nadine said. 

She wants to know why the driver let CJ get off at the wrong stop and said she hasn't gotten any answers from Katy ISD.

"I've only heard from the assistant principal. I sat down and talked with her. And, of course, that was after you contacted her," Nadine said. 

Nadine said the district only reached out to her after KHOU 11 News reached out to them with questions about the incident.

"I think that they kind of, they didn't want to own up to what happened," Nadine said. 

Now she wants to make sure it doesn't happen again to any other child.

Katy ISD has released this statement in response to the situation: 

"The safety of our students is of the utmost importance. Upon learning of the situation, the District took swift action — remaining in constant communication with the family and the contracted bus company that services the route. This includes reviewing protocols and expectations with the company to prevent future incidents, as well as having district level personnel monitor dismissal and bus picks-up today at the campus to ensure those expectations are met and that all students feel comfortable and safe while utilizing bus services."

Nadine said she would really like to find out who the family was that found her son. She said she wants to tell them thank you for helping her son.

Janelle Bludau on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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