Utah school district apologizes for siblings found wandering the streets after 'mix-up'
The Nebo School District has issued an apology for an apparent misunderstanding that led to three students, ages 4,5, and 6, being allowed to walk away on their own from an elementary school Thursday morning.
The entire ordeal started when mother Shauni Davis dropped her three sons off at Taylor Elementary School in Payson after 8 a.m.
Davis didn’t know there was no preschool for her 4-year-old today when she left the kids at school.
Shortly after she got home, she received a phone call letting her know the kids were on their way back.
“She said she sent my kindergartners to walk him home,” Davis said. “She said she sent them across Utah Avenue and I’m like ‘that’s not where we live,’ I don’t know how she even thought that’s where she went.”
Apparently, someone at the school mistakenly thought the family lived two doors away. The school staff walked the three kids to the school crossing guard, who then escorted them across the street, according to information provided by the Nebo School District to 2News.
At that point, the guard left the kids, and they walked away. Their home is six blocks from the school, but Davis says the kids had no idea which direction to walk.
Meanwhile, Davis’ friend, Lea Campbell, stumbled upon the three children in her car.
“I was driving and I see three little kids walking, crossing the street I was like ‘I know those three boys, those are my best friend's boys’,” Campbell said.
She scooped up the kids and returned to them to the school, while calling Davis.
“As soon as I called her, she was crying saying ‘I know, I’m coming, I’m coming,'” Campbell said.
With everyone back at the school safely, Davis says she demanded answers about why her three kids were allowed to leave unsupervised.
“They said there was a misunderstanding,” Davis said. “I don’t think that any 6-year-old, 5-year-old, or 4-year-old should be walking home alone.”
The Nebo School District says it doesn’t think so, either.
“This clearly should not have happened,” District spokesperson Lana Hiskey said in a written statement to 2News.
“The employees involved have contacted the parent and apologized. Administration will be handling this unfortunate situation immediately. There will definitely be more training on keeping students safe so this mix-up doesn’t happen in the future!” Hiskey wrote.
The apology doesn’t quench the emotions both Davis and Campbell are feeling after the ordeal.
“It makes it hard for me to trust that school now, going forward,” Campbell said.