A Louisiana kindergartener turned a school bus safety rule into a game last month, leading to cheers from his classmates and now, people all around the world.
The 5-year-old boy, Xavier, lives in Carencro, about 60 miles west of Baton Rouge. Because he’s so young, when Xavier gets off the bus, his driver can’t pull off until he’s home safely.
One day, bus driver Chad Desormeaux heard the boy say he was the fastest kid alive, and then he ran home as the other kids cheered him on. His classmates yelled “Go Xavier,” looking on and screaming in excitement as he ran to his house about three doors down.
Desormeaux thought it was adorable, and he soon found out it’s an everyday occurrence. He decided to record one day and after getting permission from parents. He posted the video on TikTok on Dec. 1.
In one video, the bus driver asks the 5-year-old “You ready, Xavier?” before asking for a thumb’s up and opening the door so the student could take off.
“We sit there and we watch him run home that way to make sure he makes it into a driveway,” he told USA TODAY. “The faster he runs, the faster we can take off. It became a game.”
The video the bus driver uploaded has nearly 6 million views. Xavier told USA TODAY Tuesday afternoon that he feels great.
“I’ve been practicing,” he said, adding that he often runs by himself.
Desormeaux is no longer driving the school bus since he was recently elected to the school board. He previously worked as a substitute bus driver because there was a shortage of drivers in the area and did it for over a year.
Boy’s mother says attention has been a blessing
Xavier’s mother, Tiffany Saine, said her son has always been into racing and would often run in the family’s driveway when he was younger.
He loves running and playing Sonic and other video games, she said.
He has been riding the bus for about a year and racing from the bus to his house is an everyday thing. His family didn’t realize the video would blow up the way it did on social media, she said. Even the mayor of Carencro wants to meet the 5-year-old soon.
“We are blessed,” Saine said. “I feel excited and blessed for him to get acknowledged.”
Bus driver and 5-year-old take Disney World trip together
Desormeaux, Xavier’s bus driver, said he didn’t post the video for money or anything like that. He thought it was adorable and wanted to share.
Once the video went viral, an organization called Star Athletics reached out to him to invite the 5-year-old on a trip to Disney World.
Star Athletics is owned by Olympic Medalist Dennis Mitchell and his wife, coach Damu Cherry-Mitchell. The pair work with athletes such as Sha’Carri Richardson.
The group contacted Desormeaux and invited Xavier to Orlando, where they got to meet Richardson and go to Disney World and other parks. It was 5-year-old Xavier’s first time flying and going to Disney World.
They also went to an Orlando Magic basketball game. While in Orlando, people who spotted the 5-year-old at Disney World asked to take photos with him.
“It was so much fun,” the boy’s mother said. “We went to Disney World. I mean, they just showed us so much love.”
Desormeaux said Xavier is a gifted child and the two have grown to be pretty close.
Desormeaux has four kids of his own. He also has a few kids living with him who came home with his son from college. He has a full house of young people with his son, four football players, his daughter and her best friend.
“It’s all for good reason,” he said. “All the boys are 18. “Most of them are going to get scholarships in football, including my son … It’s just to get them through graduation.”
One of the young men staying with him wants to be a firefighter, so the family is helping him reach his goal.
Bus driver who filmed viral video has sights set on mayoral run
Desormeaux joined the school board after talking to his wife about wanting to do more in their community. When he found out a school board member was leaving soon, he decided he’d go for it.
He was elected last year and started this January. Later on, he plans to run for mayor.
“We currently have a mayor who is very, very good,” he said, but when she’s done he plans to run.
For now, he plans to serve a few terms on the school board.
He’s glad to have met Xavier and said the more he gets to know him, the more he is amazed by him.
“He might be the fastest kid right now but I think he could be president one day,” he said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Louisiana’s ‘fastest kid alive’, cheering classmates get TikTok famous