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A good samaritan returned a 6-year-old boy to his family after he got off the bus at the wrong stop on his way home from his first day of in-person learning at Postma Elementary school in Cypress, Texas.
According to a report by KHOU 11, Colton Franklin was supposed to meet his older brother Gavin at the bus stop, where the pair would walk home together at around 4:30 p.m. But Colton never showed up at the designated spot.
“Gavin calls me and says, ‘Mom, Colton didn’t get off the bus.’ And I’m like, oh, shoot,” Arlene Lightfoot-Franklin, Colton’s mother, told the outlet.
Lightfoot-Franklin says she immediately thought that Gavin might have been late to the bus stop and that the bus driver may have taken Colton back to campus. However, after contacting the elementary school, officials assured her that Colton boarded the bus.
“And he’s on his way home. And I’m like, well, he’s not home. He didn’t get off the bus. And we talked to the bus driver, and she said he wasn’t on the bus,” Lightfoot-Franklin added. “She told me to go ahead and talk to transportation.”
Both Lightfoot-Franklin and her husband reportedly called the campus and the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District’s transportation department repeatedly.
“Where is he? The school doesn’t know. The transportation doesn’t know,” Lightfoot-Franklin said. “So we were just riding around, looking for him. I didn’t know where I was going. I just knew I would take the route to the school.”
After driving around the Miramesa neighborhood of Cypress, Lightfoot-Franklin received a notification that her Ring doorbell camera detected activity at her front door.
“I don’t know if your mommy’s here. Is she usually here, baby?” asked a mystery woman who appeared at the family’s front door with Colton. “Do you know mommy’s phone number?” the woman said.
According to a post shared by Lightfoot-Franklin on Saturday, the woman, identified as Kim, said she found Colton running frantically down West road.
“She said it looked like he was running for his life,” Lightfoot-Franklin said.
Because it was Colton’s first day back in the classroom, his teacher had placed a sticker with his address on his shirt.
Kim’s daughter noticed the sticker, prompting her to put the address in her phone and found out she was about half a mile away. After driving towards his house, Colton began to recognize things and told Kim which way to turn.
After waiting outside Colton’s house, Lightfoot-Franklin eventually pulled up and proceeded to run and hug her son. The two mothers then shared a hug.
“There’s nothing that we can do to repay her,” Lightfoot-Franklin told KHOU. “Like, she didn’t have to stop. She could’ve went on about her day. But she took the time to notice a little boy in trouble. Especially in this climate that we’re going through. Coronavirus. Everything. She took the time and risked her family being exposed to a stranger. She gave me a hug, knowing I’m a stranger. That just shows that there are people still out there and compassionate that care about one another. We just want to thank her. I don’t know what we can do, but I just want to formally thank her.”
Colton was back on the bus Friday, and he got off at the right bus stop to make it home before 5 p.m.
Lightfoot-Franklin did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.
The Franklins reportedly have said the school district has apologized and is investigating to find out what exactly happened.
But in a statement to KHOU from Leslie Francis, the school district’s assistant superintendent of communication and community relations, didn’t acknowledge that.
“CFISD’s transportation department is committed to the safety of our students, including ensuring all students are delivered to the appropriate bus stop,” Francis’s statement to KHOU 11 reads. “Upon receiving the call from the parent, Postma Elementary staff immediately verified with the student’s teacher that the student had been placed on the correct bus. The campus referred the parent to the transportation department who could provide additional information as to where the student exited.”
She noted that when a student enters or exits a bus, they swipe their student ID on a Zonar card reader where the system records the time, date and location of entry or exit, which is transmitted to a secure database only accessible to school district staff and transportation officials.
“Staff at both the campus and the transportation department are to be commended for their prompt response in ensuring the safety of all students,” Francis added.
Francis did not immediately return FOX News’ request for comment.
Following the incident, Lightfoot-Franklin posted the Ring video on the Miramesa neighborhood’s Nextdoor page, hoping neighbors would help her find the woman she calls an angel.
“Thank God. I praise God. And that night when I was saying a prayer, I couldn’t say anything but thank you, God,” Lightfoot-Franklin said. That’s all I could say, because it could have ended in such a different way for me and my family.”
Shortly after the story aired on KHOU 11 News at 6, Lightfoot-Franklin reportedly received a message on NextDoor that a neighbor in the next community over is the one who found her son running along West Road.
“Your post has me in tears,” Kim wrote on NextDoor. “We talk about your sweet Colton all the time since this occurred. I’m so glad I listened to my heart and I was there to help your son. My heart is so happy. He was so brave.”
According to KHOU, the two mothers have exchanged numbers since making contact, and the Franklins are hoping to treat Kim to lunch.