False alarm on Sunday’s school alert

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By Mark Manicone

The Lancaster County schools issued an alert Sunday about a report that a couple was telling people a van would pick up schoolchildren Monday morning, but it ended up being a false alarm caused by miscommunication between a bus driver and a resident.
“Fortunately, it seems in this situation it was an honest mistake and miscommunication,” said school district Safety Director Bryan Vaughn.
An alert was posted on the district’s Facebook pages and website, warning the public about a couple who were claiming that a van would pick up students instead of a school bus. The Lancaster News shared the post on Facebook and on its Twitter feed.
The misunderstanding happened Sunday when a substitute bus driver spoke with the neighbor of a family whose children ride the bus to Erwin Elementary.
According to the school district, because of a language barrier, the neighbor misunderstood the substitute driver and thought a van would pick the children up Monday morning.
The substitute was driving the route Sunday afternoon in her personal car to ensure that she knew all the stops on the route before Monday morning.
Other local media picked up the post, and the substitute bus driver saw one of those news reports. She thought that it might have been referring to her route driving on Sunday, so she notified the school district.
“Everything she said we can corroborate at this point,” Vaughn said. “We didn’t have a lot of details at the time. We made the decision to warn people. At the end of the day, what it boils down to is keeping our kids safe.”

Follow reporter Mark Manicone on Twitter 
@mark_manicone or contact him at (803) 283-1152.