Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The School Of Second Chances

A Pennsylvania teacher allowed a kindergarten student to leave campus in the custody of two strangers the other day:
DARBY, Pa. -- A local school district says one of its teachers accidentally gave custody of a kindergartener to a pair of strangers.

A Darby, Pa., woman who requested not to be identified is calling for change- after her five-year-old niece was released from kindergarten Wednesday to the wrong parent.

“They need to take this incident very seriously,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified. “Anything could have happened to her.”

She says the procedure is that parents gather outside the school door, the teacher spots the parent and sends the child outside to meet them.

“The teacher released her to the wrong parent, someone who looked like us-it was neither one of us,” said the woman.

The school district acknowledges the teacher mistakenly sent the child out the door to the wrong parent, but the little girl’s family says if the story ended there they may not be so angry.

“Another parent saw her and she said, ‘I'm supposed to walk myself home,’ instead she walked her home, and no one was here.”

The woman, a stranger to the girl’s family, then walked the girl back to school where a waiting relative caught up with the little girl.

The family called NBC 10 after they say they felt the school wasn't sympathetic to the situation.

The superintendent says he understands the urgency and wants to fix problem.

“We need to understand the problem, put ourselves in the parents’ shoes and make sure this doesn't happen again,” said Dr. Dana Bedden from the William Penn school district.
Obviously, this school is in need of doing some serious re-vamping of its dismissal/parental pick-up procedures.

We sincerely hope that Superintendent Bedden also has a serious conversation with the unnamed principal about the need to better train his or her teaching staff in the importance of releasing students only to those who are authorized to pick-them up.

This particular school is getting a "second chance" at preventing a tragedy.

That doesn't always happen.
See our latest EduPosts here and this date's Extra Credit Reading there.