Parents: elementary school acted irresponsibly

July 30, 2008 11:15:57 PM PDT
Some Salem Elementary parents say they were not notified in time to meet their children at the bus stop after class let out early when the air conditioning broke Wednesday. Parents say the school acted irresponsibly and put their children in danger.

The mothers who spoke with Eyewitness News say teachers should have stayed with the children at Salem Elementary until their parents picked them up.

Instead they say their kids and dozens of others were put on a bus and dropped off at the bus stop with no one there to meet them.

Two parents ?who do not want to be identified-- say they both received automated phone calls alerting them that Salem Elementary would be releasing students early.

One mom says she wasn't home, and wouldn't have picked up the message until hours later.

Fortunately, her neighbor did get the call and rushed to the bus stop and picked up both children.

"My son is 5, what if she hadn't been there. What if I didn't live in a great neighborhood with a great neighbor? What would have happened to him there was no way for him to get in the house; we don't keep a key anywhere," the mother said.

What they say is more bothersome is a statement that was posted earlier Wednesday on the Wake County school systems website.

"It stated that school staff will stay with students at school until arrangements have been made for each child to get home. That tells me that there is going to be accountability for every single child that attends Salem Elementary. How that child is getting home, who is picking that child up from the bus stop," the mother said.

Something the mothers say did not happen and worry about the dozen of other students left behind at the bus stop.

"These children age 8 and under were left with no parent there, no knowledge of what to do and how to get home," she said.

Both women say they left messages with school officials Wednesday evening, as did Eyewitness News --so far no one has returned the calls.

Meanwhile, the school's air conditioning has been fixed and the school will open on time Thursday.


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