Parents in a small Connecticut town are up in arms because a school last week let a great-grandfather pick up the wrong 5-year-old and take him home.
Derek Stone’s boy was waiting for the school bus at Sterling Community School when a strange, elderly man put him in his car. The great-grandpa evidently thought Stone’s child was his relative because both kids happened to be wearing yellow hats and blue coats, Stone tells the New York Daily News.
“It was an honest mistake,” he says. “I’m convinced that there was no foul play.”
The elderly man, who has not been named, showed his ID and signed out his great-grandson according to school rules, but no school personnel were watching to make sure he had the right student.
Stone’s child ended up in the stranger’s car, confused and upset, his father says. But Stone has a smart little boy. The 5-year-old refused to get out of the car when they pulled into the driveway. It was then that the elderly man’s wife realized the mistake and called school officials.
What happened next has enraged Stone and his wife: School personnel, who were unaware that the Stones’ child was missing, simply told the elderly man to return the boy.
“What was I most upset about was that the authorities weren’t notified,” Stone tells the Daily News.
On Monday, the school revised its pickup rules, the Norwich Bulletin reports, and on Tuesday night the Sterling Board of Education held an emergency meeting to discuss the incident.
Angela Stone, the boy’s mother, is interviewed here.