Jeffrey Jackson said, "A lot of times, I just have this urge to take charge when something is the matter."
Jeffrey is the oldest. And he says he knew something was wrong when his bus driver tried to drop the Jackson's off at the wrong stop. First, Jeffrey told the driver they were still miles away from their home on Garrison Avenue. Then, he said he asked the driver to call his mom. "He said that he didn't have a phone," Jeffrey said.
Jeffery's sister Carly, who has ADHD and is in special education classes, ran off the bus. Donovan, the middle child followed. So, Jeffrey said he did what he had to do. He took charge, and went with them.
Jeffrey said that's when he watched the bus driver back away and drive off.
"So, we started walking," Jeffrey said. At least two miles from their home, the Jackson kids walked down Garrison Avenue alone. Jeffrey said, "My brother, Donovan, he broke down. He started crying. And then I started crying too because I was hungry, I was tired. I just wanted to go home."
We decided to check out Garrison Avenue ourselves and there are definitely some serious safety concerns for children. For one, there are plenty of speeding cars, and secondly, there are no sidewalks.
Leah Jackson, the kid's mother said, "You send your kids to school knowing they're in safe hands. You expect them to come home to you in the same care." She had been at the school, waiting, and she said she wasn't given any answers. She told me that the school's protocol is to bring the children back to school if they get on the wrong bus.
An hour went by. She said, "Really, seriously, where are my kids? I was starting to panic at that point."
Luckily, a kind neighbor saw the kids walking and upset. Jeffery said those neighbors gave the three a ride home. He said he questioned that choice, but the elderly woman had a police shirt on. Jeffrey said, "not everyone gets one of those." It turns out, the neighbors grandson is a police officer.
Eventually, mom came home, too. The family said the reunion was something special. Jeffrey said, "I knew that my brother and my sister were really scared. I knew that I had to protect them."
And that's just what Jeffrey did.
We have reached out to the school board and to the Kanawha County bus garage. So far, we haven't received a response on the situation yet.