KCK mom demanding change after bullet hits bus outside of J.C. Harmon High

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The parent of a KCK student is calling for changes to the school district's policies after a shooting Tuesday outside of J.C. Harmon High School.

Donna Washington has a 19-year-old daughter with special needs who suffers from a serious mental illness. She's a student at the high school's Life Skills Program.

She was the only student on a bus that caught a bullet Tuesday during a drive-by shooting.

"I can't even explain it. It was so scary," Washington said of what she described as a long wait for answers.

The KCK mom began to worrying when 2:30 p.m. rolled around and her daughter wasn't home from school, so she called to find out where the bus was.

"They said there was an issue with her bus. There was an incident," Washington said. "But they didn't tell me what it was, so I'm thinking our bus probably broke down or whatever."

She logged on to Facebook while waiting for her daughter, and what she saw on the KCK school's page caused panic.

"And said there's a shooting and a bus had been shot at. So my first thought is, 'Is this my daughters bus?'" Washington wondered.

After another phone call to her daughter's teacher, she still didn't have answers -- until the principal called an hour after the shooting happened.

"And then when I found out what time it happened in between that, I'm like, 'Nobody could've picked up the phone to call me?'" Washington asked. "I mean I can't explain what I've been through with her over the last two years."

Washington’s family has been dredging through the darkness of mental illness, and her daughter is finally stable. But the trauma from the shooting could have been disastrous.

"We took so long to get to where she is now, and for nobody to call me and tell me -- I was so I was so worried about her," Washington said through tears.

She said her daughter is dealing with everything OK now, but she's worried about the trauma hitting her later.

"She said, 'Mom, I'm gonna be kind of scared to ride the bus when I get out of school,'" Washington said. "I told her it's going to be all right. The angels are going to protect you."

When Washington went to the KCK School District office for answers, she said she was told nothing like this has ever happened before, and the district is working on a protocol.

"With the world the way it is right now, we need to have things in place," Washington said. "You're taking care of a lot of people's kids. A lot of peoples kids are in one place, and parents need to know what is going on."

KCK district officials declined FOX4's request for an interview but sent this statement:

The Kansas City, Kansas School District takes incidents like the one that happened yesterday very seriously. Our main priority is the safety of our students and that is why we are so thankful that everyone: bus driver, teacher, and of course our student is safe. Given the fact yesterday’s incident happened so close to dismissal, we quickly started working with the police department to make sure all of our students were going to be safe during dismissal, at the same time we also wanted to notify our families immediately who were arriving to the school to find police presence, all while still gathering information about the incident itself.

As of the publishing of this story, police have not identified any suspects.

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