ARDEN-ARCADE (CBS13) — Imagine a father’s panic when he went to pick up his six-year-old son from school, but he was nowhere to be found.
Kyle Porter said that his six-year-old son Nate is always picked up by his parents from school and tutoring sessions. He said Greer Elementary has only canceled his son’s tutoring three times before this latest cancelation.
“Evidently on Friday they passed out a slip of paper that they were canceling his tutoring on Monday,” Porter said.
The issues a written notice to the students to take home to inform their parents or legal guardians, according to San Juan Unified School District. The father said that neither he nor his wife saw this latest notice that was on a small scroll-like piece of yellow paper.
“I’m a little ticked off. I’m a lot ticked off actually because they let him walk out of the school,” Porter said.
Porter said that he and his wife were under the impression their son was at the tutoring session until 3:45 p.m., but when he went to go pick up his son, he noticed he was not at the school. Later, he received a call from his wife who was in a panic.
“My wife called up frantically that police had shown up with our son,” Porter said.
The boy walked a half of a mile to the area of the family’s apartment complex but got lost at a different complex.
CBS13 sat down with the San Juan Unified School District, which Greer Elementary is a part of, to see if they had heard about this incident. A spokesperson said that they had and Greer is making adjustments to contact parents and guardians directly instead of having the chance of not receiving the written notices.
“That’s a big issue because, if it happens to him, that means it going to happen to another kid,” Porter said.
We also wanted to know who makes the policy that decides schools can let students walk home alone. The district said that there isn’t a policy or protocol that dictates that in the district or on the state level.
“That’s really a parent and guardian decision and what option that works best for them,” Raj Rai, a spokesperson with San Juan Unified School District, said.
Rai also said that she would want to find out if something could be changed if her own daughter was in Porter’s son’s situation.
“I think it would be upsetting,” Rai said. “I think I would have a communication with the school to talk about, you know, ‘Hey, how can communication can be better?’”
Porter said that he’s told his son not to walk home alone from school for his own safety prior to this situation happening. He’s glad that the school and district are making changes to Greer Elementary students notifying parents that tutoring sessions have been canceled.