Mia Perciballi, seven, got ready for her first day of school on Monday like many other kids around the city.
“I was getting ready for school. I brushed my teeth, mom fixed my hair. I put on my back pack. I got a water bottle, my lunch and then I went on the school bus,” she told NY1.
She was starting her first day at a new school.
“I was excited, until I heard about the bus problem,” she said.
About that bus problem: the driver dropped Mia off at her old school, instead of her new school, P.S. 68, the Port Richmond School for Visionary Learning, which is three-and-a-half miles away from her Tompkinsville home.
“I was still thinking this is not the right way, and that’s when I saw a different school,” Perciballi said.
“I don’t want any other parent to go through this or experience how my heart dropped to see that she was not where she was supposed to be, at school,” said Shatavia Hurt, Mia’s mother
Hurt realized the mistake, thanks to a GPS tracker she bought ahead of the school year and stuck inside Mia’s pair of Jordans, without her daughter realizing it.
“When I looked at my phone, my heart dropped to the floor,” Hurt said. “I was like, ‘Oh my goodness. She’s not at school, she could be anywhere.’ When you look at the GPS, initially you’re not seeing that it’s a school, you’re seeing she’s in another area she’s not supposed to be in.”
Mia has joint disease and ADHD, so she gets door-to-door bus service. After picking up her daughter, Hurt said she contacted the Department of Education and the bus company, but got bounced around.
“Nothing has been able to be resolved, she has no busing for tomorrow to go to school she’s going to be missing another day. Her school is not close to my house,” Hurt said.
And it’s affected her daughter.
“It’s traumatic. She doesn’t wanna ride the school bus anymore,” Hurt said.
And there’s no more remote learning option for Mia.
“I wanted to just do home school, but grandma told me the mayor said that I can’t do it,” Mia said.
NY1 reached out to the school bus company, Vinny’s Bus Services on Staten Island, which referred the request for comment to the Department of Education’s Office of Pupil Transportation.
A Education Department spokesperson said in a statement, “We’re reaching out to this family to ensure this doesn’t happen again and we apologize for this issue. We’re working around the clock to ensure all of our students get to school safely and efficiently.”
Hurt told us that she filled out all the appropriate paper work to have her daughter taken to her new school, and wants to know who is accountable for this wrong way school ride.