Somebody 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.
Have you ever worried about this happening to your child?
Image via MyFoxBoston.com