Edmond Kindergarten Student Goes Missing for 2 Hours
By Adrianna Iwasinski, NEWS 9
EDMOND, Oklahoma -- The Superintendent of Edmond Schools addressed how a kindergarten student who was supposed to go to aftercare at Northern Hills Elementary School got on a daycare bus with another student instead.
The incident was discussed during their administrative team meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Edmond police said the 5-year-old girl was missing for two and a half hours before she was located at Kids InK, Inc. Daycare at 704 W. 18th Street.
Police said the girl was not supposed to leave the school when school let out but was supposed to go to the school's new aftercare program called "The Husky Den." Police said she instead got on a daycare bus with a friend.
"She told me she was afraid and she was scared and she didn't know where The Husky Den was and that she didn't know what else to do, so she got on a bus with somebody she was familiar with and went to her daycare with her," said LaShun Brown, the girl's mother.
Brown said the school did not notify her until almost an hour and a half after they started looking for her daughter. She said there should have been a better process in place.
"That's the problem I have is that there was nothing in place for those kids who didn't know where to go," Brown said.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Brenda Lyons said Northern Hills does have a system in place to keep track of where their students go after school. Teachers have lists of whether a child is to go with a parent, a daycare bus, or the aftercare program. They even have stickers they put on each of the Pre-K and Kindergarten students.
"And it worked for the first two days. They didn't have that in place on Monday. I will tell you in the future and in fact for the next couple of weeks, we will be doing that everyday with those children to make sure that this doesn't happen again," Lyons said.
Lyons said the girl had not attended the aftercare program during the first two days of school. She added there was also a substitute handling the aftercare for the girl's class.
Lyons said the school aftercare program started looking for the kindergartner within minutes of discovering she was missing after the 5-year-old's older sister, who was in the aftercare program, alerted them she was missing.
Several calls were made by the school and police to all the area daycares and the school's bus drivers that transport children from Northern Hills Elementary and the girl was finally located.
Police said the girl was found safe and sound and released into her father's care. Her name was not released.
Lyons said she plans on looking at the procedures at all of their elementary schools district wide to make sure they are consistent across the board and do whatever it takes to ensure they don't have something like this occur in the future.
Kids Ink, Inc. declined to comment on the incident or their policies and procedures.