Connecticut mother Angela Stone is calling her son’s elementary school administrators incompetent after her son got in a car with a stranger and left school.
The five-year-old son in question was waiting for the bus at Sterling Community School on Friday when an elderly man mistook him for his own great-grandson and took him home. Only when the elderly man’s wife saw that the child was not her great-grandson did the couple realize they’d taken the wrong kid.
“Once the grand great-grandmother sees the boy and removes his hat, she realizes it's not her great-grandson and calls the school to say the great-grandfather has taken the wrong kid," Stone said.
Before the couple reported their mistake, the school was unaware the child was missing.
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"This unbelievable and terrifying incident has placed a spotlight on the school's lack of security, particularly at bus pick-up and drop-off time," Stone added.
The child’s uncle told NBC his family is upset with how the school handled the situation after being alerted of what happened.
"The school asked him to bring the child back," Paul Stone reasoned. "That was a totally inappropriate response. They should have, at that point, called authorities and had them go handle the child."
School Superintendent Rena Klebert empathized with the Stone family when speaking about the incident.
“Of course it's concerning. We are responsible for the safety of our children,” she said. “We’ve increased the number of staff members who are on-duty during dismissal…
“We are very concerned with their safety and we want to be sure parents feel secure, students feel secure,” Klebert added.
Klebert met with parents on Monday. There, parents and school officials successfully updated the school’s child pickup policy. Students must have a note naming the adult picking them up, and adults must show identification proving they are the adult designated to pick the child up.
Stone is frustrated that it took an incident like the one her son went through in order for the school to take action.
“We all expressed that dismissal was a disaster waiting to happen,” she said. “This past Friday, that disaster became my family's reality.”