School's Field Trip Fiasco Might Make You Think Twice About Signing That Permission Slip​​

boy alone park

A story that starts off like every mom's worst field trip nightmare has a happy ending thanks to a student keeping his cool after his class -- including his teacher -- headed back to school without him

Dominick Blades, 11, of Gresham, Oregon, says he asked a teacher if he could use the bathroom during the visit to Rockwood Central Park, but when he returned, “nobody was there.”


Though he admitted he was getting pretty scared, Dominick didn't panic. Instead, he knocked on a door, asked for directions, and found his way back. 

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What's even more disturbing is what the boy says happened when he arrived at school:

Then I finally found my way back and when I got there, they didn't even notice I was gone.

The fact that this child was missing for 30 minutes seems unfathomable to any mom. You start to ask: Where were the chaperones? Why wasn't a head count taken? Did the teacher completely forget Dominick had asked to use the bathroom? 

Rather than dwell on these questions, which seem largely unanswered, let's acknowledge the fact that sometimes mistakes are made. Things fall through the cracks, and when they do, it's important that kids know how to handle it.

While it's definitely upsetting that this boy found himself alone, he didn't curl up in a ball sobbing and fall apart. He took it upon himself to find the answers he needed.

As much as we can try to always be there for our kids and protect them, there are times like this one when it's beyond our control. Rather than sheltering kids from the world, we should be preparing them to live in it by talking about what to do should they find themselves in an unfamiliar place by themselves. Just starting that conversation could make the situation a lot less frightening for both of you.

Would your child know what to do if they found themselves left behind? 


Image © Oliver Rossi/Corbis

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