Parents Outraged After 4-Year-Old Boy Accidentally Put On School Bus

RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — A Baltimore County mother is outraged after her 4-year-old son disappears from his elementary school.

Meghan McCorkell has more on how this happened.

That 4-year-old boy was put on a school bus after class and dropped off at a stop Monday. Problem is, he doesn’t ride the bus.

Kyra Cottie lived every parent’s nightmare.

“He’s my baby. It’s hard,” she said.

She went to pick up her 4-year-old son Pierre at Hernwood Elementary School.  Inside, his classroom was empty.

“Nobody knew anything. They didn’t know where he was,” Cottie said.

Turns out, her 4-year-old was put on a school bus and dropped off at the Carriage Hill Apartments– two miles away.

McCorkell: “Had you ever been on the school bus before?”

Pierre: “No.”

A former school employee found him crying, wandering lost by himself. She called the school.

McCorkell: “Was it scary? How did you feel?”

Pierre: “Bad.”

Now Cottie wants answers about why her son was ever put on the bus. Baltimore County school officials say within one hour they’d figured out how the mistake was made.

“It is the unthinkable. It’s a parent’s nightmare. It’s a school system’s nightmare,” said Dr. Renee Foose, Baltimore County Schools.

Foose says she launched an investigation and took immediate action against the personnel involved.  But she understands why parents are outraged.

“Parents should be outraged. We’re outraged that this happened,” she said.

Cottie says her son is so scared he doesn’t want to return to school.

“I’m sorry. But ‘sorry’ isn’t going to cut it,” Cottie said.

She wants to make sure no parent goes through this same ordeal.

School officials say they do have safeguards in place so this doesn’t happen but admit there was a break in the system.

Baltimore County Schools has not released what action was taken against employees involved.  They say that is a personnel matter.

More from Meghan McCorkell
  • PO PO PO

    This school has go downhill quickly after the new principal took office. Time for her to take some blame

  • ridiculous

    a 4 year old belongs at home.. not at school.

    • Stacey

      well how dumb do u sound…a 4 yr old should be in day care or getting an early start or in school (head start, half day) thats how it works. great parenting on her part. His teacher is at fault, not his mother.

    • speechless

      @ ridiculous,your a stupid individual.It’s nice to know that your 4 year old will be at home watching music videos and learning how to be lazy and inactive.You jacka$$es complain and judge everything.He’s in school at four…GOOD!!!!! More parents should get their kids in school at the age of 4! Maybe they’ll grow up & attend college…DUH!

    • Common Sense

      My son is 4 (almost 5) and is in Pre-k! Don’t put the blame on the parent, she was only doing right by trying to give her child an early start at education! It is the school systems fault – both the teacher and the bus driver should be to blame! The teacher should know which students ride the bus and which ones are picked up and the bus driver should NEVER let a child off the bus unless there is a parent at the stop!!!!

      • his godmother

        thank you for you intelligent reply

      • imspecial_t

        I agree that the teacher and bus driver need to take the blame. This is one of these things you can’t blame the principal for though because it’s the teacher not the principal who was physically with the child.

  • Pappy Andreasen

    no, a 4 year old should be at home Stacy, or in a small program that they can’t get lost in like in this story. would you like to be the teacger with 25 4 year olds and have to account for them every day? not me.

    • Stacey

      Actually, I was doing do that and Pierre was one of them. Did it everyday and knew where my kids were at all times. and what age does a child start school….5 my dear. Pierre will be 5 in 4 months…Clearly my name has 6 letters and not 5. Maybe you shouldve started school at the age of 4 as well. thanks for your comment tho

  • SanFordNSon

    @Stupidity Rules yessss thats where this is heading and the women thinks we all are too stupid to see it,IM NOT ! ! ! they said on the news this morning the little kid is so scared he don’t want to go to school now hahahaha,give me a break pleaseeee,his momma told him to say that,rite momma???

  • Debbie

    Guess the school should have been watching more closely since he obviously isn’t the brightest kid in the bunch. He obviously isn’t smart enough to know he doesn’t go to school on the bus.

    • Treasure C

      @debbie…you sound like an ignorant fool!!! Pierre Jr. is a very obedient child, if an adult tells him to do something, he does it!!! It comes from great parenting!!!

    • Stacey

      You are straight up JERK!!!! A 4 yr. old, following the direction of an adult, is now a dumb child…First time in a school setting….Kids make mistakes and learn as they grow…People like you just sicken me Debbie. I hate to see ur kids mess up and mistakes smh…grow up

      • Stacey

        DUNDALKPROFESSIONAL…I hold a special place in my heart for kids and when ppl make comments like that, it gets to me…more importantly because I personally know Pierre, was his daycare and have never gone through anything even remotely similiar to this with him. Like I said ur opinions will be just that. but it just angers me that a 4 yr old is all kinds of “dumb” and “stupid”…and ppl are shocked when kids want to kill themselves at a young age. smh

      • dundalkprofessional

        Wow. Viscious comments! The anyomous factor is so cool though. On to my comment… where in the article does it say that the student was actually put on the bus by an adult? Who’s to say that he didn’t just get up and walk out the door with other bus riders. Not to “blame” the little guy, but 4 year olds do that kind of stuff! I am happy to know that he’s safe though.

    • his godmother any questions?!

      see this little unbright child that your talking about is my god son so u need to watch what you say out of your mouth! he is four years old not 10 or older! if a teacher instructed him to get on the bus thats what he should do which is follow the rules..point the finger to the teacher and bus driver not an innocent child that is a toddler your lack of intelligence makes my skin crawl maybe you dont have children

    • Really though?

      @ Debbie…WOOOW you must feel like a big man for talking trash anonymously online about a FOUR YEAR OLD.Smh,you are a pathetic p.o.s

    • Keara

      First of all, you ought to be ashamed saying that this innocent child is not bright .. i could cuss you out right now in all different languages but ill let is slide. IT IS THE TEACHERS FAULT THAT PIERRE GOT ON THE BUS AND IT IS THE BUS DRIVERS FAULT FOR LETTING HIM OFF THE BUS WITHOUT ANY PARENT/GUARDIAN THERE TO GET HIM. !! for posting this …. im pretty sure ,, YOUR NOT BRIGHT

  • Kathy

    I agree that the school is at fault, but why didn’t the bus driver realize that the boy had never ridden the bus? And, is it the policy of the school to let a 4yr. old off the bus without an adult to get him?


    It never fail race always have to come up. You hate bater need to get a life.

  • T

    I sympathize with this mother, ANY parent, who feels that panic of not being able to find your child. I get it, she’s upset. But for her to say that an apology doesn’t cut it, indicates she plans to sue.

    Which is a shame because it sounds like action was taken swiftly to find her son, the people responsible for this error were reprimanded/punished, and that the process is going to get reviewed and improved. If what this mother is looking for is money out of the school system, my sympathy for her goes out the window.

    • his godmother

      she isnt looking for money she just wants to know where the personnel was that was supposed to be ensuring the safety of her child

  • CallitlikeIseeit

    why did make the news and why is this on TV honestly, mistakes happen every day…. this isn’t news… This is an issue between the parent and the school…. no lawsuits should be made. no money given out, Seriously the child wasn’t hurt – this is blown out of portion so someone can get a dollar. Riduculas – this is why the world is the way it is. Who knows if the child said he wanted to go home and got on the bus himself. honestly this is just STUPID publicity. get over it. All you are doing is making my taxes go up – and that ain’t cool

    • treasure C

      @callitlikeIseeit… this made the news because it was serious, whether you think so or not!! If he was your 4 year old or your family member, would you still have the same attitude??? Nonetheless, there are more issues that are making the taxes go up regardless!! And i thank God in Heaven that Pierre Jr was NOT HURT!!!!!!

      • Keara

        i agree with treasure … CallitlikeIseeit , your mad dumbfound foreal. he is a child nd point blank it is the teachers/bus drivers fault !! point blank period.

      • dundalkprofessional

        Yes, I would have the same attitude as callitlikeIseeit. You really should be thanking God in heaven that he is safe–and I am sure you are. But what would your God in heaven say about the motivation behind Kyra Cottie’s actions? I’m sure whoever she talked to at the school was able to help to explain what happened and how it could have happend and sincerily appologized–but that’s not enough for Cottie? Instead, lash out at a public school which lord knows are underfunded, constantly recieving cutbacks, expected to do less with more, are expected to be perfect and never make mistakes while dealing with more and more UNCIVILIZED, DISRESPECTFUL students–all to make herself feel like she’s being heard. (there are therapists for that, I’m sure of it) I give it to teachers. If you want to go to the media, maybe the focus should be on the people who fund education, who make the decisions about how to distribute resources. Then we’re getting somewhere.

      • his godmother

        im reading these comments of these ridiculous dumb founded people and it erks me really if they dont hae anything productive to say they shouild shutup!

      • CallitlikeIseeit

        IT WASN”T SERIOUS>>>> YOU JUST WANT MONEY…. Bottomline.
        AND Your right – my child was missing for 36 days – huge difference…. I guess there is a difference in ages .. none the less if you don’t think that the time and money in the investigation doesn’t cost tax payers is absurb. And BTW I posted on WJZ that my child was missing, taken by a stranger off the school playground…. Did you see the news coverage on that…. NOPE

  • ChristyV

    The story leaves a lot of details out. Who put him on the bus (or did he just follow the other kids in line) and did the bus driver put him off the bus or did he unload with other kids at that stop? I don’t understand how he would have gotten off the bus and left alone. Did any parents at that bus stop see a child standing there with no where to go? How was he found? There are no details in the story.

  • RacistsSuck

    @Moleman, MyAfroItches, & MyOilyCornrows – Wow, you racist people disgust me. Your ignorance and bigotry always has to come out, regardless of what the article is about. Racist white people are the first ones to say racism doesn’t exist and that overly-sensitive Black people are always pulling the race card. Just look at your comments and assumptions made about people you don’t even know. You’re so pathetic and it’s sad that your type of ignorance and hatred is passed down generation after generation. I pity people like you.

  • Mr. D

    So most of you are placing the blame of a child being put on the bus incorrectly as that of evryone and anything other than where it belongs…..on the school and the school system. Did you not see what the County schoold representative said? She said parents should be outraged! She indeed admitted that this is a parent’s worse nightmare. Can those of you who wrote these comments try to put yourself in this woman’s place? Probably not , because then you wouldn’t have said what you’ve said. Regardless if she is seeking compensation or not, she should be!! A 4 yr old put in harm’s way by the school. This is total negligence.There are too many kids being harmed by pedophiles and other deviates…and the school nearly handed him over to them. I’m outraged for her. I hope she is compensated for her agony, and I hope the school puts in safeguards.

    • dundalkprofessional

      It’s not negligence though. That’s the thing. You, Mr. D, can make a mistake causing someone to suffer but as long as it wasn’t something that you had been neglecting to do as part of your job, then it wasn’t negligence. I’m just saying that it could have happend to anyone. It is a little silly though, that the bus driver let the kid off with out a parent meeting him. Then again, if the child got off with a group, then I guess he could have just blended in. Who knows.

      • Stacey

        Yeah I have to comment on this one….”as long as it wasn’t something that you had been neglecting to do as part of your job, then it wasn’t negligence” Well, to my knowledge, as long as a child is in school, and a parent is not present, the school/teacher is solely responsible. A staff member or someone who was responsible, neglected to keep an eye on ALL students present before a parent arrived. Sounds like negligence to me. Im just saying…But who am I….lol

  • cms827

    I am wondering why the mother was not there to pick her child up. I know when my kids were that small I was standing outside waiting for them when they were released, if she picked him up on time I am sure none of this would have happened!!!!

    • his godmother

      for your info she was at the school on time to get him and the car riders leave after the bus riders get on the bus before the other kids are dismissed how about you mind your business ^^ you dont even know none of the people involved in this situation

      • dundalkprofessional

        Mind her own business??! The mom took this to the news media. It’s everybody’s business now! I guess that’s the consequences of making rash emotional decisions. I know with my kids, they always came out for me to pick them up before the busses left. I guess it’s different from school to school.

    • Stacey

      Thats what she was there to do and they said he was not there. Do you know what the school procedures are? Whos to say that car riders stay inside and wait for parents. Im just saying. People tend to be extremely judgemental. Smh. Digusting

  • JLEY

    This happens WAY more often than we hear about! My son is a 2nd grade student (7 years old) in the Baltimore County School and they have “lost” him 3 times in the 2.5 years he has been there including sending him home on a bus to an empty home when he should have been in the after school program at the school! Furious, I sent letters and requested meeting with Dr. Harriston’s office and they insisted my situation was a unique one and this type of thing RARELY happens! Guess not Baltimore County! It is their JOB to keep those kids safe every day! I know I would not have a job if my performance was as poor as theirs!



    • his godmother

      ye without sin cast the first stone we all know that boys and girls disappear we are lucky something worse didnt happen this is the problem now people are being so bashful instead of supportive! it was put on the news so that people can be aware of how irresponsible bus drivers can be! none of you were there when they told her they didnt know what happened so why do u feel the need to make your own assumptions! i feel sorry for whomever else has lost a child because of baltimore county! that is sad!

    • JLEY

      Peirre…Don’t let Baltimore County sweep this under the rug as an isolated incident. I am telling from experience it is NOT and there is a definite flaw in the process. I would be will to help in any way I can as I have been in your situation! WJZ realy should be looking at the trend of incidents as an ivestigative follow-up story so that people are held accountable in ways other than using our tax dollars on court cases and pay-outs! As a parent that is not what we are looking for, we just want our children to be safe when we entrust them in the schools care each and every day!

  • Chantay

    I had a similar situation However If there is away to make it better please email me.
    My son was pickup due to the poor services of the Bus company and dropped off at the wrong school. The Bus number that I was given in the mail was not one they sent to take him. To add my son has autism.

  • cms827

    I am not saying that the school was not wrong, and I know these things happen and I would be furios also but something tells me that when you show up to school and the classroom was empty you were most definitely late to pick up your child so part of the blame should go on the mother.

  • whatnow

    Pre-K is free babysitting paid by the taxpayers.

    • Stacey

      My daughter is in daycare, the same age, learning the same things and I am paying it all by ur point is what? Its babysitting when the TEACHER is not TEACHING….and for the record, I babysit and those kids will have learned just as much as school children….next!

      • dundalkprofessional

        Probably true with how big class sizes are getting these days. You can only learn so much sitting in a big class.

      • his godmother

        get em stacey lol

  • treasure C

    @callitlikeIseeit……yes an age difference is a major difference!!!! and no i did not see where you placed your comment about your child, how old was he or she?? ANd if you been in this situation you should have some sympathy!!! I never for once said that i was getting anything out of this… who even said that they were going to file a law suit??? I didnt!!! So dont get mad at us for caring obviously more than what you cared about your child!!!

    • CallitlikeIseeit

      Mine was 6 years old,( would have been 22 this year) . I have sympathy to those who have incidents but to publicize them to this compacity is riduculas…. This needs to be dealt with entirely with the school, and no news because next time it will be your child taken by pedophile…. I mention a similiar incident that was brought to media, was the reason the man took my daughter in the first place…. The man knew where the school lacked in security and my daughter was gone. You are just giving fuel to the fire the wrong people . We live in a world where people take the information and use it to their benefit. You have given more information to the next parent that might not get their children back.

  • the truth

    Treasure C. Where did they dig that name up from? The garbage heap?……WJZ is the racist one sided news here removing all the posts that speak the real truth.

    • Treasure C

      I am sorry….. are you tryning to insult my character, or name??? why is that significant??? i never once mentioned anything about race, nor did i delete your “truthful comments” or even address you, so please fall back…and FYI: my mother named me Treasure, its my government….thanks for leting my know im improtant to you!!

    • Stacey

      clearly you know the truth…fill me in!

  • Bmore001

    First I am glad the child was unharmed, we unfortunately live in a society that harms our children. Hopefully a systemwide policy will be put in place that this never occurs again. Too many details left out in the story to know what really happened. Altho’ it never should have happened! Having said this I am disgusted and appalled at the racist comments on here!!! It’s 2011 and to have such racism and hatred toward anyone much less someone you don’t know is truly pathetic. I can’t wait til these people climb on the karma bus and get theirs!!!

  • Buffalo Soldier

    To the parents and friends of four-year-old Pierre do not feed into the idiots on this post and let them get you off focus. Ignore their stupid racist comments and do what you have to do, so this will not happen to another child, maybe their own. The teachers should know who ride the bus, walk and who is pick up. The bus driver knows who ride his or her bus. The school had know ideal where this child was had not been for a concerned citizen this child could have been abducted. This pure child neglect and child endangerment, they all should be charged. It is the school responsible to insure any child safety went they are in the custody, end of story.

  • Buffalo Soldier

    And for you scholars out there, you get my message.

    • Treasure C

      Thank you Buffalo soldier and Bmore001!!!

  • Hugh

    A situation where a teacher or counselor unfamiliar with the child allowed this to occur. Did the boy wander out with his friends? Did his friends tell him to get on the bus? Who knows what happened here – could be any number of scenarios. The school should be more organized in the way that they handle child pickups and departures. In my son’s school, thos children are called out of class early so that they are ready when the parent arrives. They wait in the lobby. Maybe the mother was late and the kid wandered out unseen. The big question I have is why did the busdriver let the kid off? The driver should have known that the child didn’t belong on the bus and taken the child back to school.

  • Meeeee

    this reminds me of the story of Somebody, Everybody, Anybody and Nobody.

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