EXCLUSIVE: San Francisco camp admits child left on Muni bus

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A San Francisco mom is furious after she says a summer camp excursion program left her 5-year-old son on a Muni bus and didn't tell her.

Five-year-old Jairus Moreland was a camper at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House Summer in the City Program. "I went there as a kid myself, so I definitely trusted them to look after my son," said his mom, Lajonnae Payton.

On Monday, Payton says the camp lost her son on a Muni bus during a day trip.

"I went to pick up my son and at 5 o'clock, my son wasn't there," said Payton.

"The people lost me on the bus and all of the other people just went and they forgot me on the bus," explained Jairus.

Youth Programs Manager Sharon Johnson says staff followed protocol.

"The person who swept the bus said the child was coming off the bus as everybody else was, so how they turned around and ended up on the bus or how that all happened, I cannot explain," said Johnson.

"I was asleep," said Moreland.

With the 54 bus already gone, Johnson says staffers called 311. SFMTA confirms dispatch was able to reach the bus driver, who stopped the bus to wait for staffers who were now on another bus behind it.

"And then when I woke up, I saw the police here," said Moreland.

Jairus' mom says she mostly upset during the 10 to 20 minutes her son was on the bus alone -- no one called her.

"You have to understand things happen but to not notify the parent is 100 percent unacceptable," said Payton.

"And I take full responsibility for that," said Johnson.

"I asked them well why wasn't I notified and I couldn't get an answer, so I grabbed my son and left," said Payton.

Johnson calls the incident a hiccup.

"I am not in the business of losing children," said Johnson.

She says she has a service request into SFMTA for more information, including any video, so she can train her staff to it.
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