LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- JCPS officials are investigating how a 16-year-old autistic student ended up on the wrong school bus Thursday afternoon and was missing until around 1 a.m. Friday.

Sixteen-year-old Kyle Lein's family reported him missing after he never made it home from the Phoenix School of Discovery. The school dismissed around 2:20 p.m. Thursday.

Bonnie Hackbarth, a spokeswoman for JCPS, says the initial call came in to MetroSafe that Lein was missing, and due to the nature of the call, they sent it to LMPD to investigate.

Hackbarth said JCPS security also reviewed video and also searched for the student.

"We are so very thankful that the student was found and returned safely, with the help of bus and school video footage," Hackbarth told WDRB News on Friday morning. "We are now investigating exactly what happened, and once we have all the facts, we will take any necessary action."

Sources tell WDRB News that Lein was given a bus transportation card on Thursday that had an incorrect address on it. The student eventually ended up on Ethan Alley Way off of Dixie Hwy, which is near Watson Lane Elementary.

Apparently, that was Lein's previous address. Sources tell WDRB News that Lein's mother had updated her son's address information.

Lein's family were the only people giving info out Thursday night, it is not clear why no alerts were issued by LMPD or JCPS. 

The Phoenix School of Discovery is an alternative middle and high school that serves students who have struggled in a traditional classroom. It features small class sizes. It also serves a number of special-needs students. 

We are working to gather more details from JCPS and we’ll bring you more information as soon as it becomes available.


Reporter Antoinette Konz covers K-12 education for WDRB News. She can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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