Helping Hands Network at Worongary State School lost a woman’s five-year-old son for at least an hour. In a grand effort to apologize for their wrongdoing, they offered her a whopping $7 discount on their services.
The mother was outraged, wondering when keeping a proper head count at the after-school care program became such a low priority.
Apparently, the school only realized the boy was missing when his mother arrived to pick him up at the end of the day, says Gold Coast. A frantic search for the boy by mothers and school employees ensued.
"I was starting to feel nauseous at the thought of him being out there on his own," the mother says. "I was crying and vomited a couple of times through the search."
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When the search didn’t produce the missing child, the mother, who has chosen to remain anonymous, was phoned by police. The child was found at around 5p.m.
The rescuer, another mother, saw the boy wandering down the street as she drove by. Wondering why a young boy, still in his school uniform, would be out alone at that hour of the day, she picked him up and called the police. “The prep student had crossed nine roads,” reports Gold Coast. “two of which were M1 ramps, and [he] was found about two kilometers from the school on the busy Nielsens Rd. in Carrara.”
The boy’s mother was furious. Staff told her that one minute her son was in the restroom, and the next he was gone. ''My younger son was watching his mother in tears, physically ill, not understanding what was happening or where his brother was,'' the woman says.
Operations Manger of Helping Hands Libby Kerr told Gold Coast that the school “had disciplined a number of staff over the incident and conducted a review of procedures and policies,” and that they hope to avoid similar situations in the future.