ALVIN, Texas (KTRK) – The Alvina Independent School District said it is making security changes at an elementary school after a 4-year-old student went missing for 30 to 40 minutes.
“She said, ‘They can’t find Carter,'” said the child’s mother, Taylor Singleton.
It’s a phone call Singleton said she never expected from Meridian Elementary.
Singleton said school administrators locked down the campus when they realized her son was missing, and the principal even got in his car to drive around and look for the preschool student.
Carter rides the school bus, but he’s let go with the kids walking home, even though he has a passenger tag on his backpack.
“How does this happen? He’s a 4-year-old walking on his own. No one notices anything out of the ordinary?” Singleton said.
It happened on October 27. She said Carter was able to walk nearly a mile on the very busy Meridiana Parkway before he was found by another mother near the Starbucks parking lot a few yards from 288-Frontage Road.
“When she said they saw him around 288, I immediately broke down because I was like, ‘My son is going to be taken or hit,'” Singleton said.
Carter was safely returned to the school by police.
Singleton said she was told at Meridian Elementary School that Thursday’s dismissal procedure was not properly staffed and the bus and pedestrian lines were combined.
Alvin ISD sent this statement to Eyewitness News:
On Thursday, October 27, 2022, a 4-year-old Meridian Elementary School student walked off campus at dismissal after getting into the “walker” line instead of the “bus rider” line he was going to other kids off campus. Following this extremely unfortunate situation, Alvin ISD conducted a thorough investigation safety protocols that led to the modification of procedures at Meridiana Elementary. School and District management met with the child’s parents to reassure them that new procedures are now in place put in place. This is understandably a frustrating situation for everyone involved, and Alvin ISD remains committed for the safety of all our students.
Singleton said the school and Alvin ISD have apologized to her family, but she wants more assurances and concrete plans to change the safety protocol.
“I understand that mistakes happen, but this could have been a mistake that could have cost us our baby,” she said. “This should not have happened at all.”
The family is also looking for another mother who found little Carter and kept him safe by calling the police.
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