6-year-old left unattended after Madison summer school day - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

6-year-old left unattended after Madison summer school day


MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison school district officials say they are reviewing policies on student drop off, after a six-year-old girl was left unattended after a summer school day.

Mya Johnson says she went to her daughter's drop-off site, Elvehjem Elementary School, last Friday, fifteen minutes before the scheduled, student drop-off time, and found no one there. Elvehjem is closed, but students from the school's attendance area are dropped off there after attending the district's summer program at Frank Allis Elementary School.

Johnson says she spotted a child wandering in the distance, and discovered it was her daughter.

"And she was tearful," Johnson says.

"Someone could have taken her," Johnson tells 27 News. "We never would have known what happened to her."

Johnson says she escorts her daughter to a neighborhood, bus pick-up point in the morning, and expected the bus driver to wait for an adult upon drop-off, or make an attempt to contact a parent.

But Johnson says when she contacted district extended learning director Scott Zimmerman, she received a different expectation.

"He indicated to me that he thought that it might be policy that first graders could be left unattended."

Madison school district spokesperson Rachel Strauch-Nelson tells 27 News students transitioning from five year old kindergarten to first grade are expected to walk home from a drop off site if a parent is not present to escort them.

But Strauch-Nelson says bus providers are expected to stay at a drop off location through the scheduled drop off time.

Johnson says she disagrees with a policy that would allow a child as young as six to walk home without escort.  Johnson says a representative of Madison School Community Recreation (MSCR) told her other parents had lodged concerns over drop-off practices, although Strauch-Nelson provided no comment on complaint volume. MSCR supervises the extended-day portion of the summer school program.

"It was very troubling," Johnson says of her family's experience with her daughter's drop-off. "Extremely concerning." 

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