Parents are up in arms over a letter sent this week from Swegle Elementary School In Salem, Oregon, which threatens to call authorities if children have to wait for their ride home.
The June 24 letter, sent out to prepare parents for the upcoming school year, includes information about class hours, breakfast and the first day of school. It also threatens to put children into state custody with the Department of Human Services if parents are late to pick up their kids, reports the Salem Statesman Journal.
“Children must be picked up on time,” part of the letter reads. "If they are not picked up on time, we will call DHS and you will then have to pick them up at court the next day."
It also mentions a strict morning policy: “If children are dropped before 7:40 the staff will call the authorities.”
“My heart kind of skipped a beat a little bit, it’s pretty scary,” Chelsea Eichenauer, whose 5-year-old son will soon start kindergarten at Swegle Elementary, told KOIN. “It would traumatize my little boy to death if he couldn’t come home one night.”
Jay Remy, a Salem-Keizer Public School District spokesman, told the Salem Statesman Journal that the letter was sent by the school in “error,” as it was written by an “office level employee” and not reviewed by principal Corina Valencia-Chavez.
"Any grain of truth to that is in an extreme case, like if parents are habitually not picking their kids up," Remy added. "Even then, those actions [described in the letter] would not be taken."
On Wednesday night, the school principal sent out a prerecorded apology explaining the situation. According to Remy, the principal will soon draft a new, corrected version of the letter, reports KOIN.
“They didn’t bother until enough people brought it to their attention,” Eichenauer told KOIN.