Irresponsible Caretakers Lock 3-Year-Old in Dark Room for Hours (VIDEO)

samantha joSomebody let down 3-year-old Samantha Jo. This week she found herself locked inside a dark classroom at 5:15 p.m. -- all alone. What on earth happened?

According to Samantha Jo's dad, Keith Paquette, this is what time he showed up to pick up his daughter from preschool. But the school was closed, all the doors locked, no sign of Samantha Jo anywhere. Scary!

Eventually a teacher came back to help search for the girl and Keith ended up breaking a window to a classroom to get in. He says Samantha Jo had an accident in the bathroom and hid. The school overlooked her when they closed for the day. But the school has another story.

They told the police that their records show Samantha Jo's grandmother checked her out that afternoon! I don't know -- that sounds fishy to me. The school wouldn't comment to reporters, and anyway, how hard would it be to quickly forge Grandma's signature?

Someone screwed up, anyway. Why was Keith picking up his daughter after 5:00? Maybe the school has an after-school program for working parents? But it sounds like he was running late -- as parents often are. I've definitely been late picking up.

Here's what I imagine happened: It's the end of the day and parents have taken their kids home. Someone sees Samantha Jo on the list, but there's no sign of her. Instead of looking around to make sure, the teacher shrugs and figures someone just forgot to sign her out. Ten minutes later, Samantha Jo's dad shows up.

Or maybe that's not how it went down. But while the adults argue over whose fault this is, some scared little girl had one traumatic afternoon. On top of peeing her pants (poor thing), she was locked up in the dark!

While everyone passes the blame buck, I hope at least privately they're having a "what did we learn from this" moment of contemplation.

Toddler locked inside Westport preschool after hours:

Have you ever worried about this happening to your child?


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Evaly... EvalynCarnate

That poor baby.... Sooo many unanswered questions about this!!

TXMom... TXMommy39

Soo many facts left out....what time did the school close?  Was it hours or minutes that she was alone?  If it was hours why was the Dad soooo late and not contact the school or have someone else pick her up.  Need more facts before reporting this story!


Gilmo... GilmoreGirl29

I really just don't blame anyone. If you ask me it was an accident.

First of all, there's no proof grandma's signature was forged and completely unfair and irresponsible of the writer to make that accusation.

Second, even if the school did a quick look at the end of the day, if the little girl was hiding she still could have been over looked.

Like I said, it just sounds like an accident with no real blame to be laid on anyone or if we are going to look for blame then everyone is to blame. All involved could have done something different to avoid this. Dad could have (and might I add SHOULD have been on time), school should have been paying more attention.

momto... momtolittleg

gilmoregirl29, I tend to agree with you.  I'm glad she was found safe, and I also wonder how long she was alone?  I'm also betting that the school will never have this problem again.

nonmember avatar Gretta

Sorry but I blame the school. Whether it was an accident or not the school is responsible for knowing what children are in their care. This school obviously did not.

nonmember avatar Anon

Of course the school could be lying, but I could see it this way: In the confusion of running late, Dad and granny both went to pick up kid. Granny got there first and signed kid out (have to sign kid out on computer to get in the door). Kid was not in sight so Granny figured Dad had her and left. Granny didn't think to question why kid wasn't already signed out if Dad had her. ... I also would like to know where you got the "hours" factoid. Most daycares are open at least until 5pm if not later.

Miche... Michelephant

How is this anyone's fault? It says that the little girl had an accident in the bathroom and HID! She was hiding and when someone poked their head into a room and didn't see anything they locked it. The only part that is the schools fault is mistakenly marking the girl off as picked up. This was an accident, and I'm glad the girl is ok but it isn't something that should be even close to a news story.

nonmember avatar Gretta

But what if it HADN'T been ok??? What if the little girl had injured herself?? Or figured out how to open the door and wandered out of the school??! The school is 110% negligent. They should have an accurate count of the children in their facility at ALL TIMES. Since a child was left alone, their system FAILED and that little girl was placed in danger because of it.

jalaz77 jalaz77

At my sons preschool they WATCH you walk out with the child AFTER you sign out.

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