Sumner County students, one as young as seven years old, were riding the school bus home this week and got an unexpected stop at a Gallatin gas station instead of their usual drop off.

The reason why has parents furious.

The reason why the driver stopped at the MGM Mart off Highway 109 to let the kids off is because construction 109 was causing a major traffic backup.

Jody Hughes says her daughter was on the bus, and did not have a cell phone.

“I was so mad, I was in tears,” said Hughes. “Anything could have happened to my kid, anything."

Hughes learned her daughter was dropped off at the gas station after word of mouth spread from other parents whose children were also on the bus.

“My babysitter called me and told me about it. Luckily my dad was already on his way, and he was able to get there shortly after,” Hughes said.

The students were heading home from Vena Stuart Elementary School in Gallatin. When they encountered heavy traffic along Highway 109, the bus driver decided to ditch protocol and let the students out.

“(The driver) said there was a parent there, but my kid doesn't know that parent. I don't know that parent. It was my babysitter's neighbor, and even my babysitter doesn't really know this person.”

A spokesperson with Sumner County Schools says proper protocol would be for the driver to call dispatch to get in touch with parents to coordinate another drop off point.

“I didn't know what was going on for a good 20 minutes,” said Hughes. “I didn't know if my dad picked her up in time. I didn't know if - she was dropped off. I thought it was a joke, why a gas station?

Sumner County Schools is not releasing the name of the bus driver. The spokesperson says the driver will be retrained and disciplined, but still is driving for the district.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Reporter

Edward Burch joined News4 at a reporter in December 2016.

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