A bus driver dropped two sixth graders to run an errand for him at a convenience store Thursday morning in Millbury, Massachusetts, then picked them up and brought them to school, officials said.
The incident has prompted investigations from Millbury Public Schools -- which said the driver is no longer working for the district -- and the bus company it contracts with. Parents are outraged that a driver failed to ensure kids' safety.
"I would be going nuts as a parent if my kids were dropped off somewhere else besides school or home," local parent Katherine Fairbanks said.
The incident took place on Bus 9, headed to Shaw Elementary School, shortly after 7:30 a.m. Thursday, officials said.
Get New England news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NECN newsletters.
A parent told NBC10 Boston that the bus driver -- whose name hasn't been released -- gave money to go inside and get him a water. The boy asked if he could bring a friend, and while they went inside, the driver went to pick up more children.
The clerk at the store, Village Knoll on Main Street, said the boy and girl ran around the store looking for water. Surveillance video from the store shows the bus pull onto a side street and the two kids running across the road and into the store.
The district told parents of Bus 9 Friday that they learned about the incident in the morning.
"Both students safely returned to Bus 9 and were dropped off at school along with the rest of the students on the bus," the letter said, adding, "Please know that the safety of our students is our highest priority and we are taking this incident very seriously.
The bus company, AA Transportation, which didn't return a request for comment Friday, told school officials that it's investigating and that incidents like what happened Thursday won't happen again.
Millbury police said the school resource officer and the school were handling the case.