Kindergartener leaves school alone, walks mile home unnoticed; dad steamed

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LACEY, Wash. – A kindergartner is home safe after a scare earlier this week in Washington State. Wash student left alone

John Canales told KCPQ his 5-year old son managed to leave school grounds and walk at least a mile home all by himself.

Canales is outraged and shared surveillance pictures from the school, where they show his son, River,  leaving school grounds after passing older students and adults.

Though the 5-year-old boy somehow managed to walk at least a mile to his home safely, his father still has some questions, which prompted him to have River re-trace his steps.

“My mind started racing,” Canales said. “Did he talk to anybody on the way, did somebody drop him off, all the things you think about with the milk carton kids, all the serial killer movies are all the things that were kind of going through my mind.”

North Thurston School District admits this shouldn’t have happened. It led the district to look at security measures at all schools.

“Once we knew he was safe, we immediately started looking at how many adults do we have ... have we trained all those volunteers how not to leave campus,” said Courtney Schrieve with North Thurston School District.

The Canales family has pulled River out of Lacey Elementary. They say he will be home-schooled until the trust in the district is restored.

As for why River left school, he tells his parents he just wanted to give his mom, who was home sick, a hug and a kiss.

Source: KCPQ

16 comments

    • Marine

      Because they are in charge of taking care and protecting a FIVE YEAR OLD CHILD while that child is at school. He walked out in the middle of school, who else could possibly be at fault?!!!

      • Jan Erickson

        It’s dad’s fault more than anyone. Apparently he has not stressed the reasons his son should not be walking home alone like that. How many hundreds of kids are at that school and you think they should have knowledge where each one is at all times? Nope, this is totally dad’s fault.

      • Nate

        @Jan Erickson,
        Are you serious? There is no way that a kindergarten class has hundreds of students. Maybe 30 at most. The teacher should have knowledge of where every one of his/her students are. Schools are responsible for the students that attend there. There is a reason a parent has to go to the office to check their kid out instead of just going to the class and taking them. It is one thing if the kid was in high school, but this is a kindergartener, 5 years old. So no the father is not at fault, the school is.

  • ANOTHERBOB

    This is a school with teachers and not a lock down faciity patrolled by security guards. Canales will find that home schooling takes work. Good luck with that.

  • Kerrie

    Oh my hell! How this father can blame the school for his child leaving is beyond me. This dad is a bit mistaken on who’s to blame on this.

  • Tiffany

    The comments people are leaving is really stupid obviously you don’t have children in school. Here’s how it works: the school is responsible for all the children until they are home. That child should have not to been able to walk out that door without someone noticing he was by himself. I know for a fact if a child is a walker and is in kindergarten they are required to be signed out by an adult. They can’t be signed out just by anyone either. So yes the is at fault because they didn’t do their job. If this was your child you would be acting the same way.

    • Ryan Fuller

      Obviously you have never had a kid that had a reason to leave school. I used to leave school when I was in kindergarten to got my grandma’s house which was down the street, and I would even venture into downtown area to goto the arcade’s and mall. It had nothing to do with the school and how “secure” they were. As a child if I wanted to get away I would do it. The fact that you are blaming the school, and putting no blame on the child or his family is ludacris.

  • Tiffany

    The comments people are leaving is really stupid obviously you don’t have children in school. Here’s how it works: the school is responsible for all the children until they are home. That child should have not to been able to walk out that door without someone noticing he was by himself. I know for a fact if a child is a walker and is in kindergarten they are required to be signed out by an adult. They can’t be signed out just by anyone either. So yes the school is at fault because they didn’t do their job. If this was your child you would be acting the same way.

    • ANOTHERBOB

      Tiffany is right. Issue each child a shock collar and install an invisible electric fence. It works for dogs and so it should work for children that don’t want to follow the rules.

    • angella grosely

      Tiffany is absolutely right!,, the school is responsible for your child and his care while there. Parents entrust their child to be at school, supervised, and noticed when they are missing period. Especially 5 year olds! The same thing happened to my son only he walked over a canal and on
      A busy street 2miles to my work , his mother. It was a private catholic school. No one even noticed he was gone until I called them. I called to say he was here and ok, but they had not even noticed and there was 2 teachers and 4 Mother assistants on duty. The administrators were so worried about the legal problems that when I went to school to ask if my son was having problems or why he left they refused to talk to me. They did not consider my child’s well being or safety as much as a law suit. That was the last thing on my mind. There was 1 week left of school..he stayed home. Needless to say he went to a different school the next year!
      I was a teacher after college … Yes they are responsible…at least in Utah.

      • ANOTHERBOB

        Angella Grosely is absolutely right. Thank goodness schools have banned the dangerous game of dodgeball, and now police the kind of lunches make for their children. Why one school was even forced to send a note home to a terrible mother who put Oreos in her daughter’s lunch box.

  • sherri

    That child’s parents should of reprimanded that kid, it’s the responsibility of the parents to tell their child that they need to stay at school until it is over. If he was my kid it wouldn’t have happened. Parents need to take responsibility for their kids and instead of shucking responsibility s onto other people. Shame on them for not laying down the law with their son.

  • Megan

    When I was in kindergarten my teacher always walked the class outside and watch us as we got on the bus or got picked up by our families. Maybe my elementary was strange or that’s what she did personally, but I thought that was a really smart thing for her to do.

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