School Loses Boy on His First Day of Pre-K

school busIt was 4-year-old Daren Maldonado's first day of prekindergarten. Anyone who has ever dropped off their child on that special day knows just how exciting, frightening, and wrought with emotions it likely was for both him and his mom who walked him into his classroom and kissed him goodbye. That's why what happened when school was over for the day is so horrifying to even imagine.

According to, Angela Maldonado went to pick her son up that afternoon, all excited to hear about his first day. But he couldn't tell her -- because he wasn't there, and no one knew where he was. Even worse -- the teacher for his classroom said she didn't think any of the students was named Daren.

It gets worse.


For more than two hours after that, no one could find the boy. Witnesses say no one from the school -- School 23 in Yonkers, N.Y. -- really helped the mom either. Yesenia Morales, who has a daughter in the class, told the station, "No one really wanted to help her ... they were saying he probably ran off."

Fortunately, the story had a happy ending, and Daren was reunited with his family around 6 p.m. Apparently he was put on the wrong bus, and when no one claimed him at any of the bus stops, he was taken to a Board of Education office where someone finally figured things out.

I know mistakes happen, but this is just awful. That poor little boy. That poor mother. The things that she must have imagined happening to him, and the things that could have happened to him are terrifying. Also, I'd love to hear an explanation from the teacher as to why she didn't know there was a boy named Daren in her class all day, or if he was in another class.

When we drop our children off at school, we entrust them to the care of teachers and school officials. To see that trust so blatantly broken shakes us all.

Can you imagine this happening to your child?


Image via born1945/Flickr

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