Parent claims kindergartener left school grounds without supervision
DANBURY — The school district is investigating a complaint filed by a parent alleging her 5-year-old son walked out of school early, unnoticed and unsupervised.
The child’s mother, Allison Solis, said the incident happened Thursday around 3 p.m. when her mother — the boy’s grandmother — started walking from the family’s Town Hill Avenue home to pick up her son at South Street School.
Her mother saw the boy riding his bicycle home and immediately called Solis “in a panic” at 3:19 p.m., asking why he had been released from school without being signed out by an adult, Solis said.
Dismissal time at the school is 3:30 p.m.
Schools Superintendent Sal Pascarella said Friday the district was looking into the incident, and that he was still seeking information on the matter.
If the student did walk out of the school unnoticed, however, Pascarella said he doesn’t know how it happened.
“There’s a safety advocate at every school who makes sure doors are locked, so if that did happen, that scares me,” Pascarella said. “We are taking this seriously. If it did happen, we’ll look into it — and it won’t happen again.”
Solis said her son is usually driven to and from school but that day he rode his bike, accompanied by an adult, to school.
“He’s always been a parent-pick up. We signed a form so that he can only leave school with certain adults,” she said..
“When my mom found him, she debated calling the police because she wasn’t sure if she should,” said Solis, adding she was still shaking from what happened the day before.
Instead, Solis said, her mother went “straight to the principal’s office” for answers.
Solis said she joined her mother at the school, where they spoke to Principal Carmen Vargas-Guevara and her son’s teacher.
“As parents, we leave our children in the hands of school staff to provide and protect our children from the time we drop them off ... until we pick them up,” Solis wrote in her letter to the district. “For my kindergartener to be able to walk from the back of the school building all the way to the front of the school, open the front door and leave without one adult noticing is completely unacceptable.”
Solis e-mailed her complaint a little before noon Friday to the superintendent, as well as the assistant superintendent, school principal, district safety and security coordinator, Department of Children & Families and the district’s Family & Community Engagement Center.
Within minutes, Solis said, she received an e-mail from Pascarella saying the district is taking the complaint “very seriously” and will look into it.
Pascarella said the district should have more information to provide on Monday.