Parents: First Grader Dropped off a Mile from Home

SUGARLOAF TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The storm late last week caused a lot of clean up for people throughout northeastern and central Pennsylvania.

Some of that cleanup in Luzerne County is what a set of parents tell us a bus driver used as a reason for leaving their son close to a mile away from his normal bus stop.

Joseph and Alysia Provanzo of Sugarloaf Township say the school bus usually drops off their six-year-old at the bottom of their driveway after school.

But on Friday afternoon, they say their child, who attends Valley Elementary School in the Hazleton Area School District, was told to get off the bus early. A road to his house was closed while crews cleared a tree that had fallen on some power lines.

"He was dropped off about a mile from the house. I feel like if there were no adults there, he should have been kept on the bus and taken back to the school, at the least," Joseph Provanzo said.

While the parents say he was dropped off with other children and walked part of the way with them, the first-grader still would have had to walk the majority of the way home alone.

"Kidnapping, you think of danger in general, getting picked up. I mean, with the power lines being down, there's electrocution involved. I mean he's six, he doesn't know," Alysia Provanzo said.

The parents say someone who knew the boy's father picked him up. He was able to drive the boy home after asking the crew clearing the tree to let him through.

"My aunt drove down to where he assumed he was going to be dropped off, the next closest stop. When he wasn't, that's when she got in the car. She was going to go look for him, and that's when Derek came driving up the road with him," Joseph said.

The Provanzos tell Newswatch 16 they are not trying to get anyone in trouble, they are just trying to work with the school district so that better protocols can be put in place in these types of situations.

"There is nothing we can do about what already happened, but luckily everything turned out OK, and we would like to make sure this never happens again," Alysia said. "In the event that this does happen again, that child might not be so lucky."

The Hazleton Area superintendent tells Newswatch 16 safety of the students is of the utmost importance, and this incident is currently under investigation.

Newswatch 16 also reached out to the Rohrer Bus Company about the incident. It did not have a comment.

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