Maddie Addison spends hours making drawings of her family members. She said it's what she loves best.
On Wednesday afternoon, Maddie had the same art book all of her pictures are in tucked away in inside her backpack as she took her first bus ride home from kindergarten. But what happened next doesn't paint a rosy picture.
Five-year old Maddie was stranded outside of her mother's Burton home, in the cold, alone, for more than an hour.
"Maddie went to my house, instead of the babysitter's house," explained her mother Brandie Berry.
Berry said no one was home because she had arranged for her daughter to be dropped off at the babysitter's home. The sitter stood outside waiting and waiting.
"And the bus just flew by her house, and that's what alarmed her, because the bus was supposed to drop her off there," said Berry.
So the babysitter drove up to Atherton Elementary School to see if Maddie possibly missed the bus. She wasn't there. The babysitter eventually found Maddie at home sitting on the porch.
"I was sitting in the chair," Maddie told TV5. "I did really, I got to go potty really bad. Well, it wasn't that bad, but it was cold."
She was pretty cold but otherwise OK.
"Did it take you a long time to warm up?" TV5 asked her.
"Mhm," Maddie replied.
Berry said this should have never happened.
She says Atherton school officials told her the district doesn't have a policy requiring an adult to be outside when their child is dropped off.
"The policy is not in place, and I don't want this to happen to anyone else's kids, so something needs to be done so that something bad doesn't happen," said Berry. "She's everything I have, I live for her, and if something were to happen to her, you know?"
TV5 contacted Atherton Schools Superintendent John Ploof Friday evening. He said this incident is troubling and did confirm the district doesn't have a drop-off policy in place, but he did say the district plans to review its policies to ensure it doesn't happen again.
Stay with WNEM TV5 and WNEM.com as we continue to follow this story.
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