Pre-K student walks a mile away from school

Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 12:38 PM EDT
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ALVIN, Texas (KTRK) - A school district south of Houston says it is making changes at an elementary school to keep kids safe after a 4-year-old boy was able to walk away by himself and found nearly a mile away.

The pre-K student was let out during dismissal, and no adults recognized he was alone. It’s a phone call his mother, Taylor Singleton, says she never expected.

“She said they can’t find Carter,” Singleton said.

The call was from her son’s Alvin ISD school, Meridiana Elementary. Her 4-year-old son, a bus rider, was dismissed with children who walk home even though he has a bus rider tag on his backpack.

“How does this happen?” Singleton said. “He’s a 4-year-old walking by himself. Nobody notices anything out of the ordinary?”

It happened Oct. 27, and the child was able to walk nearly a mile down the busy Meridiana Parkway before being found by another mother at a business complex just yards from Highway 288.

“When she said that they saw him close to 288, I immediately broke down because I’m like my son’s going to get picked up or he’s going to get hit,” Singleton said.

Little Carter was returned to the school safely by police.

His mother says Meridiana Elementary told her the dismissal procedures lacked appropriate staffing, and the bus rider and walker lines were merged.

The school district sent a statement that says in part, “Following this extremely unfortunate situation, Alvin ISD has conducted a thorough review of the safety protocols, which led to procedure modifications at Meridiana Elementary.”

Mom says the school and Alvin ISD apologized, but she wants more assurances and concrete plans for safety protocol changes.

“I understand mistakes happen, but this could have been a mistake that could have cost us our child,” she said. “This should have never happened at all.”

She’s also looking for the mother who found her little boy and kept him safe while calling police.