Mother Upset 6-Year-Old Son Walked Mile Away from School Unnoticed

BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A mother is relieved her 6-year-old son is okay after he walked a mile away from school without anyone noticing.

Now she wants to get the word out to make sure this potentially dangerous occurrence isn't repeated.

"Anyone could have snatched him up and no one would have known," Erin Hines said.

Wednesday afternoon after school her son walked out of Village of Barboursville Elementary through downtown and past a busy Route 60 intersection. Hines says he was trying to get to his home on East Pea Ridge.

"God forbid somebody would have taken my baby,” Hines said. “God forbid he would have gotten hit by a car.”

The kindergartener had walked a mile before Hines spotted him walking along East Pea Ridge Road from her car on her way to pick him up from school.

"He was shaking,” Hines said. “He was scared. He was crying."

Hines says her son was supposed to stay after school for a new Lego club. She says his teacher made sure he got to the club, but somehow after that he walked out of the building, and nobody saw or stopped him.

"He said he thought I’d forgotten him,” she said. “He said he tried to get an adult. He couldn't, so he got scared and he left."

Cabell County Schools Communications Director Jedd Flowers says the Lego club wasn't a school function, so there were no teachers or staff present, just parents who'd organized it.

"We're really concerned about this,” Flowers said. “This is a scary thing."

Flowers says they'll now re-evaluate whether to allow non-school sponsored events to continue on school property.

"Our buildings are community buildings,” Flowers said. "Each group is a little bit different, and there's no standard for what kind of supervision each group provides."

Hines says this was only the second meeting for the new Lego club. She says she attended the first session two weeks ago, which about 50 kids attended, and she says there was a teacher present then. Hines says was under the impression there would be a teacher at the club Wednesday.

Flowers says that club program is suspended for now.
He also says parents need to emphasize to their kids that they should never walk away from school on their own.

“There's not an adult with every student all the time,” Flowers said. “There's a level of personal responsibility a student has to have too. Of course they're small children. They make mistakes. Once in a while that happens."

Hines says she’s also disappointed no one who drove past her boy was concerned enough to stop and call police.


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