I saw this story on Yahoo! today about a parent going off on the school for not catching a major mix up with after school care for their 8-year old. Here’s a few blurbs to get the gist of the story:
This time around nobody called the school and nobody gave Addie a note so she could ride a different bus home from school-oops.
When Addie got to school she realized that she didn’t have a note to ride a different bus. Knowing that nobody was going to be at our house if she had to ride her regular bus home, she decided to forge a note and sign my name to it. She handed the forged note to her teacher and her teacher recognized that the note was a forgery. Addie was pulled aside and lectured about how dangerous it is to forge notes in order to ride a different bus home. Addie was then told to sit in a corner with her head down on the desk for a certain period of time.
At the very least Addie gave enough information to the school to give rise to a suspicion that a child may be going to an empty home. In the legal world, we would argue that once Addie turned in the forged note and explained why she needed to ride a different bus that there was enough of a red flag there that the school had a duty to investigate. But the school didn’t investigate. Instead, it sent Addie home on her regular bus. I got calls from a panicked parent who was expecting to watch Addie after school letting me know that Addie didn’t show up and from a panicked neighbor to let me know that she had Addie. I screwed up and sent Addie to school without a note, but that doesn’t absolve the school from acting like a responsible entity and I’m pretty furious with the school right now over this whole incident.
We went through a similar experience, but were relieved when the school and bus company’s protocol was followed to prevent a bad situation.
For most of the school year, LoudBoy and Birdsnest do an after school program right at their elementary school. One day a week they went home on the bus and Holly or I would meet them. Well one day, five year-old Loudboy decided he would take the bus home on a day he normally doesn’t. To this day, I don’t know what he was thinking. Well I get a call from the after school program right away saying LoudBoy wasn’t in their care and they were working with the school office and bus company to track him down. They guessed he got on the bus but didn’t realize it. I’m picturing him being dropped off at home, with no one there and freaking out. I’m not even sure what he would do.
Well he gets off at his stop, without his sister who always rides with him, and goes up to our door (normally we meet them at the bus stop outside with Dum-Dum the dog) and of course no one is home. The bus driver waited through this time, realizing something wasn’t right. LoudBoy got back on the bus and they communicated back to the school and then to us, the situation and everything worked out fine. Pretty stressful for a while there but we were notified right away when things weren’t right.
I can certainly see how something like the Yahoo! story can happen with complicated after school schedules, split parenting, divorce custody arrangements, etc. and hope your schools and bus company and after school care have protocols in place to prevent anything bad from happening from a simple mix up. Sounds like that kid’s teacher is not very good though. Like an 8 year old is trying to forge a note just to have fun or something. I’m sure that note must have been hilarious since the handwriting is so obviously not a grown up.
Have a nice weekend all!