Four-year-old wanders from school, boards DART bus

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 11:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 30 at 9:55 AM

Focus Learning Academy

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DALLAS — Four-year-old Daveion Hart walked out of the Focus Learning Academy on Tuesday and no one noticed.

"When I get to the school, they tell me they can't find him," his frantic mom, Betsy Hart, told News 8. "They checked all over the school."

Hart and school employees launched a search and called police. The boy's mother said she feared the worst.

"Terrifying," she said. "Too much happening nowadays. Kids getting snatched and killed; don't find them alive... and that was my big worry."

Not only did Daveion wander away from the school, he walked down Ledbetter Drive in rush hour traffic.

Then he got on a DART bus, traveling several miles betore getting off.

Renee Gonzales got off at the same time. "I asked the bus driver, 'Where is his parents?' and she just shrugged her shoulders and said she didn't know and she just drove off."

Gonzales said when Daveion started to cross the busy street, she had to grab him.

"My first instinct was, what if he gets hit? What if somebody just is careless and they hit him and keep driving off?"

The Good Samaritan called 911, and Dallas police eventually reunited Daveion with his mom.

News 8 asked the school how something like this could happen. They said the child's mother was running late and Daveion was supposed to go to the after-school program.

He instead took off with two older children from the apartment complex where he lives.

School representative Patricia Jones Byrd says, "In spite of our rigorous supervision plan we have in place for our students, the student still wandered away," said Focus Learning Academy spokeswoman Patricia Jones Byrd.

The school said student safety comes first, and they are reviewing their plans and policies.

Meanwhile, DART maintains that the transit agency has no responsibility whatsoever. "As for our policy, there is no minimum age requirement to ride DART," spokesman Mark Ball said.

Betsy Hart finds that policy unacceptable. While her child is safe now, things could have ended in tragedy.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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