Sending your young children to school can be as difficult for you as it is for your kids. You’re putting your full trust in the school staff to look after your babies, and you can only hope that they won’t let you down.
Unfortunately for one mom, she was let down big-style by the authorities who were supposed to be overseeing her son – and it was only thanks to the help of a hero stranger that the situation was resolved.
Colton Franklin is a 6-year-old from Texas who attends Cypress-Fairbanks school.
Monday, November 9 was a big day for the little boy, as he’d be visiting his school for the first time after months of virtual schooling.
It was Colton’s second year at school, and he knew the plan by now. He was to ride the bus to school, then ride it home at the end of the day, meeting his older brother, Gavin, at his bus stop.
But mom Arlene Lightfoot-Franklin discovered on that Monday that her little boy was nowhere to be seen.
Speaking to KHOU, she recalled:
“Gavin calls me and says, ‘Mom, Colton didn’t get off the bus.’ And I’m like, oh, shoot.”
Arlene first assumed that Gavin had shown up late at the bus stop, and that’s why Colton hadn’t got off the bus.
She hoped that this meant the driver would have taken Colton back to the school – so she made a phone call.
Worryingly, the school responded that Colton had definitely got on the bus that afternoon and was on his way home.
“And I’m like, well, he’s not home. He didn’t get off the bus. And we talked to the bus driver, and she said he wasn’t on the bus.”
The frantic mom was told to speak to the transportation department, so she began ringing them repeatedly.
But, shockingly, no-one knew where Arlene’s 6-year-old boy was.
She got in her car, not having any other plan but to take the route to the school.
As Arlene and her husband drove around the neighborhood, they received a notification from their Ring doorbell, which had picked up activity at their front door.
Then, miraculously, Colton and a mystery woman came into the shot at the front door.
The doorbell picked up the woman saying:
“I don’t know if your mommy’s here. Is she usually here, baby? Do you know mommy’s phone number?”
The good samaritan had reportedly been driving down West Road when she saw Colton, who looked like he was “running for his life”.
Weak with relief, Arlene drove home as quickly as possible, where she was reunited with her son.
Arlene said that there was nothing she could do to repay the kind-hearted stranger who had rescued her boy off the streets. She said:
“She didn’t have to stop. She could’ve went [sic] on about her day. But she took the time to notice a little boy in trouble. Especially in this climate that we’re going through – coronavirus, everything.
“She took the time and risked her family being exposed to a stranger. She gave me a hug, knowing I’m a stranger.
“That just shows that there are people still out there and compassionate that care about one another. We just want to thank her. I don’t know what we can do, but I just want to formally thank her.”
Arlene posted her story to her neighborhood’s Nextdoor page, and the woman who had rescued Colton replied:
“Your post has me in tears. We talk about your sweet Colton all the time since this occurred. I’m so glad I listened to my heart and I was there to help your son. My heart is so happy. He was so brave.”
Why Colton was allowed to get off at the wrong bus stop remains a mystery, but thanks to the quick thinking of a stranger, he was thankfully able to return home safely.
You can watch a full recount of the story in the video below.
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