Missing Rockwall Boy Found

5-year-old boarded wrong bus after school, Rockwall ISD says

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Rockwall school officials confirmed Monday night that a missing 5-year-old boy was found after a three-hour search.

    Derek Hood disappeared after he did not board a bus to his day care from Sharon Shannon Elementary School in Rockwall. After a nearly three-hour search, he was located at the Boys and Girls Club of Rockwall.

    Rockwall school district spokeswoman Sheri Fowler said Derek got on the wrong bus.

    "Obviously, our No. 1 goal was to find him," she said. "There are a lot of unanswered procedural questions we are working on."

    Derek's parents say the mistake should never have happened.

    "That's the main thing I'm angry about, is I was told one thing and it was a direct lie," said the boy's father, Derek Hood.

    "They didn't know if he got on the bus... They didn't know if he started walking down the street or if someone picked him up in the car. They just lost him," he said.

    Officials said the day care's bus driver realized the boy was not on the bus and immediately notified school officials, who called law enforcement.

    Shannon Elementary School called the Boys and Girls Club and asked them to see if the child was at their building. Employees located the boy, who did not realize anything was wrong. He was quickly reunited with his parents.

    School officials said they are trying to figure out how the boy got in the wrong line.

    "Our director of safety and security will be doing a full investigation, as you can imagine, on the procedural issues involved and how a student would end up on the wrong bus," Fowler said.

    She said a teacher was supposed to guide the 5-year-old to get in line for day care. The boy has a sticker on his backpack indicating so.

    "Students are absolutely the number one thing we are worried about, so when something like this happens, we need to put safeguards into place to make sure that it doesn't happen again," Fowler said.

    The Rockwall Independent School District, Rockwall police, the Rockwall Fire Department and the Texas Rangers assisted in the search.