A state agency is now asking questions after a five-year-old boy with special needs was allowed to wander off his Conway elementary school campus by himself when he was supposed to ride home with his dad.
We won't know for sure if and when it's an actual investigation, but we do know the Department of Children and Family Services is looking into it. We know this because they called asking for information from our first report Saturday (9/29), which was the first time they had heard about it.
Every afternoon around 3:15 parents wait to pick their kids up from Theodore Jones Elementary School. Friday however, one child wasn't where he was supposed to be.
Now a DHS, inadequate supervision of a child, investigation could be a result.
"They should be looking into it because every parent should know that their child is where they leave them," said Ernest Hooten.
Hooten had no idea where his 5-year-old kindergarten son was when he went to pick him up Friday. He said the school told him his son walked home. Paperwork apparently says Hooten's child is to ride with a parent.
"If they're supposed to be picked up by a car, they're over there under that canopy," parent, Jennifer Hutchinson explained about the pick-up process.
Fortunately for Hooten, Hutchinson thought to stop when they came across what seemed like a lost child.
Hutchinson said when she found the boy he was walking along a park road, weaving in and around traffic, a few hundred yards away from campus. He was asking folks how to get home.
Hutchinson understands it may be difficult for the school to keep up with that many kids. If it were one of hers though, she wouldn't have been to happy either.
"I would have been fully upset myself."
As would many other parents.
"I would have been devastated if it was mine," said parent, Kimberly Nichols.
Another parent while waiting in line said, "The police would have been up here immediately." When asked if she would have been upset if the same thing happened to her she responded, "Yeah I would be."
For parents who are very familiar with the school though, something like this is tough to swallow.
Gabrielle Reeves said, "To me that's unbelievable because I have three children and I've been coming here for quite a while."
Whether the school is at fault or not though, according to Department of Human Services, a teacher or administrator should have called it in.
"They are mandated reporters and that is supposed to happen immediately by law," explained Department of Human Service Director of Public Information, Amy Webb.
Hooten's kids didn't go back to school Monday (10/1). Hooten dropped off their books with plans to get them into a different district Tuesday.
The Conway School District declined to respond to our initial report Saturday, as well as our questions Monday.