HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A Hampton family is upset with school administrators after their son wandered home from school.
Police confirm the 8-year-old boy walked two miles along Big Bethel Road and Todds Lane Monday morning.
“I dropped him off at 7 o’clock, maybe 7:05,” said the boy’s father, who did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation against the child.
The father said the boy went to his second grade class at the George P. Phenix School and asked to use the bathroom. When the child came back, he told the teacher he felt sick. The father said, at that point, his son was sent to the school clinic.
“The nurse checked him over, determined he didn’t have a fever or anything and she sent him back to class,” said the boy’s father.
The boy’s parents say he went back to class and told the teacher he was leaving. The boy grabbed his backpack, and walked out a side door. A concerned citizen called police just before 9 a.m. to report seeing him walking alone on Todds Lane, and officers eventually found him crying on his own front porch.
“When the policemen arrived at our house, he was standing on the porch because he was afraid to knock on the door,” said the boy’s father. “Because he knew he was going to get in trouble.”
But, his parents were more upset with school administrators. His mother immediately called the principal. They say they met with the principal late Monday morning and were told their son had never been given a hall pass, so his whereabouts were not documented.
WAVY.com made repeated attempts to speak with the principal Tuesday, but the school referred back to the Hampton City Schools spokesperson, who issued the following statement:
“The safety of our students and staff is a priority of Hampton City Schools. We are in the process of investigating this incident and are not in a position at this point to release further information.”
The boy’s parents are not satisfied. They want to know how the school plans to prevent this from happening to another child in the future.