Ok, the title was a bit dramatic, but I got your attention didn’t I?
Yesterday something awful happened & the more I thought about it, the angrier I got and the more hysterical I got about what could have happened.
For two hours yesterday, my child was unaccounted for by her school!
To say I’m furious is the understatement of the century. I’m all ready for the meeting with the principal this afternoon where my husband is going to have to physically gag & restrain me.
I’d love to name and shame the school, but I’m smarter than that. I will never disclose where my kids go to school online. You can ask me, but I won’t tell you. As a side note, I’m busy writing a post about how parents need to be more cautious online, this is based purely on search terms used to find my blog. It will shock your flipping socks off. But I digress.
So what happened?
The school sent out their weekly newsletter last week, in it, they informed us that due to exam timetables all extra murals would stop on Friday, 9th June. Cool. Noted and advised to the transport company we use for our girls.
What they neglected to inform us was that choir finished last week Monday, 30th May. Now Ava finishes school at 1pm. The school security procedure is that she is then moved, by her teacher to the holding class where she remains until choir starts at 2pm and she is then collected, by the transport company at 3pm directly from choir.
What actually happened….
Was that she was not taken to holding class, she was left to meander around the school, along with another SEVEN year old, until choir was supposed to start at 2pm. When they went to the hall and discovered there was no choir, these two little SEVEN year olds then went and waited for their lifts at the gate to the FLIPPING CAR PARK! For an hour!
Let me repeat that, she’s SEVEN years old! She should not be left to her own devices, she should not be left unsupervised and she should certainly NOT be left hanging about a gate at the car park on her own, even if it’s a secure school parking lot.
The worst part, or maybe the saving grace.
Is that I didn’t know about any of this until her school driver informed us at 3pm that he couldn’t find Ava and upon enquiringy at the school, was informed that there was no choir.
Cue the panic!
Thankfully he found her and brought her home safely but the more I thought about it, the angrier I got.
We live in a country where child trafficking, child abduction, child rape and child murder are on a sickening increase. We are extremely cautious with our children, we don’t even like to take them to shopping malls. And yet, because of one stupid error by the school and not following the procedure of holding class that they specified, this could have ended in absolute tragedy.
I am BEYOND furious.
We have an appointment with the school principal today. It’s just as well I requested we wait a full 24 hours before having the meeting because should it have happened yesterday, I may have been arrested for assault. I am THAT angry. Even just typing this message, I can feel the anger boiling up inside me again, the desire to use a string of expletives is so strong right now, but I won’t because my mom reads my blog and she doesn’t like the f-bomb! Waaah!
We spent the whole of yesterday agonising over this.
I was so angry I cried. My stomach ate itself from the anxiety of thinking about all the other possible scenarios that could have played out. And I kept thinking about the parents of all the children that have gone missing and been founded murdered, raped and mutilated over the past 6 months. I was near insanity last night thinking about the what if’s, can you imagine what these parents have been through?
But I did learn something in the process…..
Ava is an emotionally intuitive and smart child and I over estimated her ability to cope in a situation like this. The long and the short of it is, when our kids are little, no matter how smart they are, we do need to teach them what to do in these situations. Ava was very tearful last night, mostly, I think she was feeding off of y stress and anxiety and she kept asking if I was angry with her, which I’m not. I’m so angry with the school, I could hurt someone, but I’m not angry with her.
After lots of reassurance, here’s what we’ve drummed into her:
- Our telephone numbers, which thankfully she did already know but just reminding her to ask a teacher, any teacher, to phone one of us.
- If she doesn’t know where she’s supposed to be and there is no teacher around, go to the school office and ask the receptionist to phone her mom or dad.
- Showing her that my telephone number actually appears on all her school and clothing labels, anything that I’ve labelled with those cute pre-printed labels, also contains my telephone number, so if she’s panicked and she can’t remember my number, she can find it on her school bag or even on her shoe label.
We are busy investigating our options for GPS locating kids watches. I’ve asked online if any parents use them and so many do. They’re great for pinpointing location and for sending and receiving voice messages or even calling us. I don’t want a fancy one with apps, simply one where I can see her GPS co-ordinates and phone her or she can phone me from the watch. So if you have used one of these watches, please leave a comment telling me about it.
Some of you have mentioned that some schools have banned these watches, well, Ava’s school can KISS MY *SS! They’ve proven they can’t be trusted with her safety. This incident has broken my trust in their safety and security measures and she WILL wear a GPS watch if it makes me feel better. The END!