Autistic boy gets off at the wrong bus stop, found wandering the streets of East Boston

A mother in East Boston is demanding answers after she says her 11-year-old daughter was dropped off at the wrong bus stop.

Elizabeth Montanez’s daughter, Olivia, has autism and is an individual education program, which requires a door-to-door bus service.

Montanez told Boston 25 News he was confused and worried on Tuesday when his son was supposed to be home from school.

She said the bus driver honked outside Montanez’s house in East Boston and told her Olivia was dropped off at another student’s house.

“We deal with special needs children on these buses,” said Montanez. “Don’t just sit there and let a child get off the bus without making sure this is their stop.”

Montanez said he alerted the Boston Public Schools district and Boston Police.

She said her daughter who was in grade 5 was not with the classmate she was dropping off and was missing for about two and a half hours.

Her niece eventually found Olivia alone in the dark near a row of busy businesses near the Sumner Tunnel about half a mile from the family home in East Boston.

“As a mother, I should feel safe putting my son on that bus and knowing that he gets to and from school without a problem,” she said. “I shouldn’t be sitting there wondering where my son is for two and a half hours.”

Montanez said he was particularly concerned because Olivia has progressive sensory impairment and is triggered by loud noises.

“If a truck beeps, there’s a good chance my son will hide from us, and we’ll never find him,” she explains.

The Boston Public School District released the following statement to Boston 25 News:

“The safety and well-being of our students and staff is of the utmost importance at Boston Public Schools. The District is committed to working directly with affected families to resolve any issues that arise. We take all incidents of this kind very seriously and we are currently investigating to help prevent incidents like this from happening in the future.”

A district spokesperson said the BPS Transportation Operations team immediately responded whenever a student was reported as potentially missing.

Representatives for Olivia’s school, Harvard-Kent in Charlestown, have accompanied Olivia on the bus since the incident.

This is an evolving story. Check back for updates when more information becomes available.

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