School bus mix-up leaves U.S. boy wandering in Mexico
SAN LUIS, Ariz. - A mother here says she experienced 2-1/2 hours of panic recently when her son, Sebastian, 6, was lost due to a school busing mix-up.
Last week, at the end of his school day at Rio Colorado Elementary School, Sebastian boarded a school bus with a different route than the one he usually takes to return home.
“The teacher first said she directed my son to the right bus, but then she contradicted herself by saying that it is the child’s responsibility to see which bus he or she boards,” said Barbara Cisterna, the student’s mother. “I am furious with the teacher and the school, I can’t believe this happened.”
The mother said a disoriented Sebastian got off the bus at stop near Plaza Drive in the Arizona border city and walked toward the international boundary, crossing into San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora [Mexico].
Diana Moreno, an employee in a San Luis, Ariz., pizza restaurant, was returning home to San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., after a day’s work when she found the boy crying and scared. She called her bosses for direction on how to proceed and police were then notified.
“I don’t want to think about what could have happened,” Cisterna said. “My son thought he could reach his grandfather’s house in San Luis so that he would have returned him to us, that’s why he crossed into Mexico.
“I don’t know how to thank (Moreno) her for taking the time to help my son, when several people went by him and saw him alone, crying, and did not stop,” Cisterna said.
Police Capt. Javier Nuño said that during the beginning of the school year, transportation mix-ups are common. But he said the case of Sebastian deserves an investigation to determine responsibility.
He explained that police act soon when a lost child is reported. But in this case, the boy crossed into Mexico before he could be located in San Luis, Ariz., even though police conducted a thorough search
BARBARA CISTERNA with her son Sebastian, whom ended up lost in San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., recently after getting on the wrong school bus.