‘It freaked me out’: Mom claims autistic son was dropped off at wrong Jacksonville school

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A school bus shortage led to many students showing up late again Tuesday. It wasn’t the timing that concerned one local mother, but rather the location.

Dawn Wright said her autistic son, Damien, was dropped off at the wrong school Monday and she didn’t find out for three hours.


“He’s 14, but he’s more on a toddler level. He needs help with everything,” Wright said. “It freaked me out because like I said he’s severely autistic. He can’t talk. So he can’t tell anybody ‘I’m not supposed to be here’.”

Damien attends Alden Road Exceptional Student Center on the Southside, but he was dropped off at Englewood High instead.

[DOWNLOAD: Free Action News Jax app for alerts as news breaks]

Wright only found out after she called the school to check in and learned he never arrived.

“Three minutes is a long time. But three hours with him being in the wrong place and they don’t know him, he doesn’t know anyone there. I was freaking out,” she said. “The only reason I knew was because I called. That just can’t happen. It’s unacceptable. The first thing they should’ve done is call and let me know.”

[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Action News Jax reached out to the district. A representative apologized and asked for Wright’s contact information so district leaders could get in touch and resolve the problem.

It comes after a slew of delays amid a driver shortage. Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene said contractors are short about 100 drivers.

Nearly 200 routes were delayed Monday and another close to 200 had problems again Tuesday.

Read: Almost 200 DCPS school buses delayed on first day back to school

Click here to download the free Action News Jax news and weather apps, click here to download the Action News Jax Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Action News Jax live.

Comments on this article