The Seattle School District is investigating how an 8-year-old student with special needs was dropped off at the wrong address Monday afternoon, all alone.
“I was scared,” remembered Brianna Cass. “I didn’t want to be cold.”
Brianna rides home from school on Mercer Island in an Orange Cab. The company contracts with the school district to transport children with disabilities.
Monday was the first day of Brianna’s new after-school program, but the cab driver used the old drop-off address and brought her home.
Brianna tried to break in the bathroom window.
“When I tried to push it up, it wouldn’t budge,” she said. I didn’t want to be all alone. I wanted to be with my mom. I didn’t want to be there.”
After about 45 minutes, her neighbor, Virginia Arnoux, noticed Brianna in the rain.
“Walking up and down the side of the street a little bit,” Arnoux explained.
Arnoux brought Brianna to her home and called the girl’s mother, Becky.
“She said, ‘Becky, I have Brianna,’” Becky explained. “It could’ve gone horribly awry.”
Seattle Public School’s Spokesperson Teresa Wippel sent KING 5 a statement on Tuesday.
“Seattle Public Schools takes the safety of our students very seriously. We have been in contact with Orange Cab and have asked them to investigate why the student was dropped off at the incorrect address Monday.”
Becky forwarded KING 5 an email exchange with the school’s transportation department, in which a transportation specialist confirms: “Beginning 2/10/14 Orange Cab service will begin at new daycare address…”
Becky called the school district immediately.
“’We’re sorry that happened,’” Becky recounted. “That’s about all they said.”
Brianna suffers from several psychological disabilities due to abuse and neglect as a foster child, as well as developmental delays due to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
But she only knows that her emotions need help, especially when triggered.
“She has high anxiety and that didn’t help,” Becky said.