A Cypress family is feeling grateful to an angel who helped guide their 6-year-old son after he got off the bus at the wrong stop.
The Franklin family’s 6-year-old, Colton was starting classes at Postma Elementary after months of virtual learning. The boy knew to wear his face mask and was going to ride the bus to and from school. He was supposed to meet his older brother Gavin at the bus stop and they would walk home together around 4:30 p.m, but all that didn’t happen.
“Gavin calls me and says, ‘Mom, Colton didn’t get off the bus.’ And I’m like, oh, shoot,” said mother Arlene Lightfoot-Franklin. She thought that Gavin would have come late to the bus stop and the bus driver would have taken him back to campus. But when she called the elementary school, the campus told her that her first-grader son got on 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. She told me to go ahead and talk to transportation,” Lightfoot-Franklin said. She and her husband kept calling the campus and the Cy-Fair ISD’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.”
As they were driving around the Miramesa neighborhood, she got 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.
The good Samaritan said that she was driving along West Road when she saw Colton running. “And she said it looked like he was running for his life,” Lightfoot-Franklin said. Colton’s shirt had his address on it as it was his first day back in the classroom, and the teacher placed it just in case.
Franklin was speaking with the school district’s transportation department when she got the notification and wasn’t able to speak to the woman or her son through the doorbell camera. So she said she rushed back home to be reunited with her son.
“There’s nothing that we can do to repay her,” Lightfoot-Franklin said. “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.”
Lightfoot-Franklin shared the Ring video on their neighborhood Nextdoor page and hoped she could find the angelic woman. “Thank God. I praise God. And that night when I was saying a prayer, I couldn’t say anything but thank you, God. That’s all I could say because it could have ended in such a different way for me and my family,” Lightfoot-Franklin said.
Meanwhile, Colton took the bus again on Friday, and he got off at the right bus stop and reached home by 5 p.m. Cy-Fair ISD apologized to them, but in a statement from Leslie Francis, Assistant Superintendent of Communication and Community Relations, CFISD 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. 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. (When a student enters or exits a bus, they swipe their student ID on the Zonar card reader, and the system then records the time, date and location of entry or exit. This data is transmitted to a secure database only accessible to CFISD 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.”
Lightfoot-Franklin received a message on NextDoor that a woman in the next community is the one who found her son running along West Road. “Your post has me in tears,” the woman wrote to Lightfoot-Franklin 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.” Lightfoot-Franklin said that they are hoping to treat her to lunch after exchanging numbers.