ROUND ROCK, Texas - Candy Mendoza says Round Rock ISD has left her daughter unattended too many times.
She says it all happened in the 2017-18 school year. In one of the earlier incidents at five years old, the child was escorted to get on the bus, when she was supposed to be in after-school care.
“When the bus driver saw that I was there to receive her, she brought her to the house, and I opened the door and she released her. I said, but she was supposed to be at the after-school program," Mendoza said. "But I said go ahead and leave her. The principal of Teravista Elementary had the audacity to tell me once again, these things happen from time to time."
This last incident was enough for this mother. It was a cold day in December 2017, when her young daughter yet again, came home on the bus when she was supposed to remain at school.
“My daughter came home and nobody was there. On this day, the bus driver, the usual bus driver, she was not working so they sent a substitute driver," Mendoza said. "The substitute driver wasn't very familiar with the faces and procedures. My daughter knocked on the door and nobody was there so she proceeded to go to our trusted neighbors, none of our trusted neighbors were there. So she was left alone in the cold and she was crying and screaming for help."
Mendoza says her daughter sat in the cold for hours, before going to a trusted neighbor's home to wait for her.
“What if somebody has snatched my child? What if somebody kidnapped my kid?” she said.
Mendoza filed a lawsuit against Round Rock ISD, seeking better training and accountability.
“We want the school district to have policies and procedures so these kids don't get lost on a regular basis,” said Daniel Garza, the attorney representing Mendoza and her partner David Ortega.
Round Rock ISD released this statement:
A lawsuit claiming something similar was filed in October of last year by a different family.