Mathews threw her backpack at a guard dog before scaling a fence and walking another 300 feet to a school, where she was able to call her mother.
The bus driver, who was fired from Advance Bus Service, said she forgot to check the vehicle at the end of her route, WSVN reported.
The bus driver went over to Mathews’ house and apologized to her family.
Her parents drove her to school Friday morning and will continue to do so, at least temporarily.
"Right now, she's going to be talking to a counselor, and we'll go from there," Jackson told WSVN. "She was not able to sleep last night at all, still can't sleep. She's worried about today. It's just hard."