DCSS child lost for a few hours

DCSS Police debrief after dropping off Colbert. / Romney Smith


A 5-year-old was missing for hours Monday night after he got onto a daycare bus instead of waiting for his father.

Javien Colbert was safely located at 6:15 p.m. but his mother wants to know why she wasn't notified right away and how this could happen.

The Dougherty County School System website says, "For safety reasons students will only be permitted to ride the bus to which they are assigned and to get on and off the bus only at the stop to which they are assigned."

Fox 31 reached out to the DCSS to find out what protocol is followed for ensuring every student gets on the right bus but they did not call back for comment.


A local family experienced quite the scare Monday afternoon when their son went missing for a few hours.

Five year old Javien Colbert was supposed to be picked up from Sherwood Acres Elementary School, however he wasn't there when his father arrived. School authorities and police were notified and they began regular protocol to track him down while a dozen family members arrived at the school for support. Protocol includes backtracking all the way to the classroom talking with the teacher, reviewing extensive video footage, then tracking down the bus driver, etc.

Wallace Jordan, Colbert's grandfather says the school has a detailed system of name tags for students who are picked up versus students who ride the bus and he's confused as to how this mix up happened. He says a bus driver should have noticed his grandson's tag wasn't labeled for the bus and alerted school authorities. Now he just wants to make sure it doesn't happen to any other family. Jordan wants the person responsible for not noticing his grandson's name tag to be disciplined. "Discipline. Even if it was a mistake, you discipline a person and they won't make that mistake again. You let them slide and it don't mean nothing" says Jordan.

Dougherty County School System Public Information Officer R. D. Harter says the school system has a proven system to locate children in the event of an emergency and the system and system police were diligent looking through video to track Colbert down. Harter says although situations like this don't happen frequently, the school system is 100% committed to making sure a lost child is quickly located.

Turns out Javien Colbert got onto a daycare bus. Colbert was located around 6:15 p.m. and Dougherty County School Police officers promptly reunited him with his family.