Mother frustrated after five-year-old son dropped off at wrong school
EDMONTON- An Edmonton mother is demanding answers after she wasn’t notified until the end of the day that her five-year-old son was dropped off at the wrong school on Friday.
“It’s just a scary situation,” said Coriena Dickson.
Dickson had been driving her son Brock to Belvedere Elementary School for his first few days of Kindergarten. On Friday, he took the bus to school for the first time. But Brock got off the bus at the first stop, J.A. Fife School, instead of Belvedere, which is five kilometres away.
Brock played at the playground with other children for about 20 minutes before a supervisor noticed something was wrong.
“What we heard from J.A Fife, was a parent or parent volunteer had brought him into the school and that’s when they figured out he was from the wrong school,” Dickson said. “If he was there alone for 20 minutes he could have wandered away, there could have been somebody that was lurking around for children… anything like that. You never know… I’m very grateful and thankful for the parent that did bring him in.”
“He knew he went to a blue school and the administration at J. A. Fife went into his backpack and found Belvedere’s name and called the principal right away,” said Jane Sterling, a spokesperson with the Edmonton Public School Board.
After the principal of Belvedere was notified, he picked Brock up in his personal vehicle and brought him to his correct school. EPSB says this happened around 9:00 a.m. But Dickson says she didn’t receive a phone call until about 3:30 Friday afternoon.
“Are you kidding me? Are you joking?” Dickson said. “I think that’s the most concerning thing, why weren’t we called? The principal’s excuse was that he wanted to talk to the bus driver first. But in our opinion, regardless, we should have been called.
“The principal reassured me that they calmed him down, but it would have been nice for me to go pick him up and have a talk with him, for us as parents to reassure him.”
Sterling admits the school made a mistake and Dickson should have been notified right away.
“I know that the principal wanted to have the answers to the questions he knew the mother would have and he didn’t have them right away,” she explained. “The one thing I want to stress is he was always with an adult and he was always safe.
“We’ll be working with our carrier to find out how he slipped by the bus driver and got off on the wrong stop…and if there’s things that broke down in this, then we’ll certainly look at ways to tighten those up.”
But, Dickson says it doesn’t matter and Brock won’t be going back to Belvedere School.
“I’m frustrated with the school board system. I’m frustrated with the busing. And I’m angry and upset that it could happen to a child, especially a child who’s in kindergarten,” she said. “If it happened to one child, I could see it happening to another child and we want things to be in place, and just their policies to be followed.
“Because of this situation Brock is now afraid to take a bus.”
With files from Jenna Bridges, Global News.