By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9
NOBLE, Okla. -- With schools across the state beginning this month, many parents have sent their children off to school on the bus.
Taylor Beem, a five-year-old, began her first day of kindergarten this year.
"I'm just like is she going to get off the bus?" Taylor's mother Mary Beem said.
As Noble's school buses stopped along Taylor's street Tuesday, Mary became worried when her daughter didn't come off the bus.
"Oh my God, my daughter's missing. Am I ever going to see her again?" Mary Beem said.
As her panic set in, Mary Beem made phone calls to the bus barn and to the school. Mary Beem said both told her they didn't have a clue where Taylor was.
The five-year-old was wandering the streets a couple of blocks from her home when strangers found her.
"She was walking around crying," Mary Beem said. "They asked her what she was doing. She said, ‘Trying to find my house.'"
Taylor said the bus had taken her the wrong way. Her address was written on the tag placed on her shirt. The bus drivers are expected to check each child's tag before allowing them to exit the bus.
Mary Beem said her worry soon turned to anger.
"She could've been hit by a car," Mary Beem said. "You know, there's people you can't trust."
Taylor was unaccounted for for about 30 minutes.
Greg Casbaum, the superintendent of Taylor's school, said it was the first time a child has not made it to the designated bus stop.
He said the bus driver saw Taylor get off with an older student and thought it was her sibling.
The district plans to retrain all bus drivers on protocol.