Tristan King, a father of a kindergartner who was left off the school bus three times asks the Gwinnett County Board of Education to fire the principal and others for negligence. He also demanded a written apology from the school district. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
Photo: Alyssa Pointer
Photo: Alyssa Pointer

Gwinnett father whose daughter was left off bus isn’t happy about school district’s response

More than a month after Tristan King demanded that the Gwinnett County Board of Education apologize for his kindergarten daughter being left off her school bus three times and fire the principal and others for negligence, he said the demands fell on deaf ears.

“I haven’t received any response from the school or (Superintendent) Wilbanks or any of the board members, he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday.

King said he gave the school district a month to respond. 

He had complained to the school board at its March 21 meeting, after his 5-year-old didn’t board her bus at Norton Elementary, for the third time.

After the last time, on Feb. 28, he went to the school and berated staff for not taking care of his child. His wife recorded the incident on video and he posted it on Facebook. The video has had more than 2 million views and over 100,000 shares.

The school district said King had an opportunity to work out things with administrators but failed to connect.

“The night of the Gwinnett County Board of Education March meeting, our assistant superintendent who works with Norton Elementary School offered Mr. King the opportunity to sit down with the principal, the transportation supervisor, and himself to discuss the situation,” said spokeswoman Sloan Roach. “Mr. King had been given the assistant superintendent's phone number previously; he was asked to call so that they could set up something and Mr. King has not responded to that offer.”

King says he didn’t receive a written apology, but said a school administrator makes sure his daughter and his fourth-grade son are on the bus every day.

“The school has dealt with the processes that created this situation,” said Roach. “In addition, the school system has addressed the personnel involved, appropriately.”

King said he thought by appealing to the board he’d done what a parent was supposed to do.

“I don’t know what to do next,” he said. “School is almost over and by next year everyone will have forgotten about it and moved on. I can’t forget about it and I hope my child stays safe.” 

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