Home alone: School drops ball, loses track of 6-year-old
A Glendale school admits it dropped the ball after administrators at Park Meadows Elementary lost track of this first-grader, Myleigh Burchett, shown with her mother, Brandi. (Source: CBS 5 News)
GLENDALE, AZ (CBS5) -
A Glendale school admits it dropped the ball after administrators at Park Meadows Elementary lost track of a first-grader.
Myleigh Burchett was supposed to be in an after-school zoo lab program. But when her mother went to pick her up, she wasn't there.
"Her teacher was aware that she wasn't there. She called the office to let the office know she wasn't there. Yet nobody called me to tell me she wasn't there," said the girl's mother, Brandi Burchett.
The 6-year-old ended up taking the bus home. Normally her mother said that would be fine. But since she was supposed to be at school, no one was there to pick her up from the bus stop.
Burchett said that when her daughter got to the house and couldn't find anyone there, she popped the screen off of a window and broke in.
"I trusted them with her safety and they totally let me down. Totally and completely let me down," Burchett said.
Officials from Park Meadows Elementary told CBS 5 News "the school is taking full responsibility for the unfortunate incident."
Protocol in that situation states that if a student attended school for the full day, and they are not in attendance for the after-school activity, it is the school's responsibility to locate them.
Officials said the school should have immediately called the parent when the student wasn't accounted for.
When Burchett got home, she found her daughter sitting in the living room.
"I walked in, she was on the couch. She was upset and the first question to me was, 'Where were you, mom?'" Burchett said.
School officials apologized to Burchett but she said that's not enough. She's since removed her daughter from Park Meadows Elementary and enrolled her in a new school.
"Me and other parents trust the school district with our children's safety and they violated that horribly," Burchett said.
Since Thursday, school officials told CBS 5 News, they have already changed their protocol because of the incident. Now, children who are enrolled in after-school programs must give the teacher a note from a parent in order to leave the campus.
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