Mom seeking answers after child left alone in classroom after school hours
NORTH CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - A North Chesterfield mom wants answers after she said her daughter was left alone in a classroom after school dismissal.
The mom said it happened Thursday afternoon at Hopkins Road Elementary School, where her 8-year-old fell asleep in class.
“The lights [were] off, and the door was locked, and I was left in the classroom by myself,” the student said.
The student and her mom wanted to remain anonymous. The girl’s grandmother, Shuntel Swain, panicked when she got the call from her daughter.
“She said the school lost my daughter. She didn’t get off the bus. I was at work, and I just - my heart. My chest - I had this tight knot in my chest,” Swain said.
The 2nd grader fell asleep inside a separate classroom where her teacher told her to finish an assignment.
“She was supposed to come and check on me in like 5 minutes, but instead, she just left,” the student said.
When Swain got the call, she drove to the school, hoping to find answers from the principal.
“She informed me that my granddaughter was on the bus and that she had got off the bus. She gave me a piece of paper and wrote the address of the bus stop and time she got off the bus,” Swain said.
She said the principal assured her that the student was scanned on and off the bus, but she never made it home. Panicking, Swain called 911 while the student’s mom and family members searched for her near the bus stop.
“In the midst of my conversation with 911, the principal pops her head out again and says, ‘we found her,’” Swain said.
When the girl woke up in the trailer, she walked to the main school building, but the doors were locked. After banging several times, a custodian let her inside and reunited her with Swain after nearly an hour of searching.
Although relieved, Swain’s heart is heavy with questions for the school board.
“As I asked the person [from the school board], ‘What’s the protocol for situations like this?’ She didn’t have an answer for me,” Swain said.
NBC12 was there during her phone conversation with a representative from the Chesterfield School Board. They said they are working to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
The student stayed home Friday, and the family is now considering virtual options for the remainder of the school year.
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