Parent furious after 6-year-old son forced to walk home alone
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —
It was a terrifying moment for a Birmingham mother. After arriving to pick up her son from school, he was nowhere to be found.
Percina Johnson tells ABC 33/40's Amber Grigley, she sent a note and made a phone call to the school that day about her son's transportation. And when she arrived to pick him up, the school staff had no idea where he was.
Imagine being told, "So, what do you want us to do?" from school officials as you're in a panic to locate your child who was supposed to be at school. That's what Johnson says the principal at Robinson Elementary told her. She says this was something that could have ended terribly, and school administrators need to prevent this from happening again.
"Forty-five minutes not knowing where your baby is, that's a lot," said Johnson.
Johnson says she sent a note to her son Jaiden's teacher stating that she would not be in the carpool line. Instead, she was going to walk to the school to pick him up. Therefore, he needed to be in the walker line.
"I asked her, 'Have you seen my son?' She said 'Well he's a walker, so he's probably walking.' I'm like 'No, he's not supposed to walk. He's supposed to wait until I got there,'" said Johnson.
She immediately called her husband and other family member to help search the area for Jaiden. After receiving multiple calls saying they did not see Jaiden, she says all she could do was cry.
"Maybe he went the shortcut way, maybe he went through the ways that I showed him and we just don't see him at this point," said Johnson.
Then finally, her husband's best friend called saying he found Jaiden on the porch.
"I said 'Jaiden, what happened?' He said 'I came out and didn't see you so I was standing waiting for you to come. But the lady that stands there to help us cross the street said I couldn't wait and had to go ahead and walk home,'" said Johnson.
Grigley reached out to Birmingham City Schools and received a statement saying,
BCS continues to be focused on student safety and security. School and district administrators have been made aware of the parent complaint, and have been in direct contact with the parent to address concerns. As a follow-up, district administrators will be on site to observe dismissal procedures, and any needed adjustments will be made to enhance and ensure student safety and security." Adrienne Mitchell, BCS Strategy and Communications Office