Oregon Kindergartener Goes Missing In 1st-Day-Of-School 'Mix-Up'

kindergartener Teylor Kobernik goes missing

Having a child suddenly go missing is perhaps a parent's worst nightmare. The situation was made even worse for Windy Holm because it happened on the first day at school for her 5-year-old son, Teylor Kobernik.

"He was really excited to go," Holm told KPTV in Portland, Ore.

But an exciting day changed into a terrifying one last Tuesday when teachers at the Salem elementary school, where Teylor (picture above) had just begun kindergarten, told him to get into a car with an employee of Adventures Unlimited Childcare instead of going home on the bus like his mom told him to.

"I didn't know who she was, and I didn't know the car, and I was crying for my mom," said Teylor. "The lady told me that my mom knew I was going to her place, but I knew that was a lie."

Scared, Teylor continued to cry throughout the ride and insisted on talking to his mother.

"I thought my mom didn't know where I was," Teylor told the Fox affiliate.

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The day care facility told the TV station that it was the school that insisted that Teylor be picked up, even though they had no record of him attending Adventures Unlimited.

After Teylor failed to show up at his home, his mother became alarmed and contacted the school.

"Once they go out of your hands and they're gone, you expect the school is going to do what they're supposed to do and make sure they get home safely," Holm said.

At first, school officials told Holm that they didn't know where her son was, but a review of paperwork revealed that they had erroneously sent him to the wrong place.

Salem-Keizer Public Schools issued this statement to KPTV about the incident:

"The school did make a mistake in sending the child to daycare instead of the school bus and apologized to the parent for it. We are sure the same mistake will not happen again. We took this incident very seriously and totally understand the anxiety the parent and child both felt."

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Holm said that she doesn't understand how the incident could have occurred and may withdraw Teylor from the school altogether. Still, she's relieved that her son made it home safe and sound.

"[W]ho knows who they would have put him in the car with," she said. "Luckily this time it was a nice lady."

Teylor wasn't the only kindergartener to get lost in the shuffle of the first week of school, which occurred in many U.S. school districts last week. John Washington III's mother discovered that her son was nowhere to be found when she went to pick him up from an elementary school in Richmond, Va., last week.

But as WWBT-TV reports, the incident apparently was terrifying only for John's mother, Celeste Venters. In an interview shortly after the incident ended last Wednesday, John, 4, said that he didn't even know that he had been lost and couldn't understand why his mother was crying.

Like Teylor, John got on a bus to go to a day care center, but his mother didn't know.

Venters said that the school erred -- that she never intended for John to go to day care after school.

"How did this happen?" Venters asked. "Because there was never information provided to them or anything that I ever stated to them that would have let them think he was supposed to go with them."




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David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

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Barbara

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September 23 2012 at 9:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cindy

Years ago when my kids started school (when people used common sense and paid attention to detail), all K-3 kids wore little tags around their necks for the first month of school. The tag was placed on the child at the end of the day before he left his classroom, and the parent put it back on the kid the next morning. A big yellow school bus if you rode the bus, the bus number was on it, and the stop you should get off at. A car if you were being picked up by a driver, and the name of the driver, a playground if you were going to daycare, with the name of the daycare on it. A red school house if you were staying in the after-school program. A child walking on a sidewalk if you were a walker, with your address. Your name was also on the tag. If you didn't bring a note from a parent, then your method of transportation did not change. Bus riders were loaded first, then daycares, then car pick ups, then walkers. You weren't dealing with 200 kids running around outside at one time. Didn't the school personnel think anything was up when the boy protested and said he didn't know the lady, and that he was supposed to ride the bus? If we ever had that come up, then the kid was taken to the office and the parent called for confirmation. If he wasn't on the day care's list, then he never should have been allowed to get into that car. I know schools are strapped for staff and cash, but these are our KIDS we're talking about. You teach your kids not to get into cars with strangers, then you send them to school where they are forced to do just that, and their protests go unheeded by the very persons whom they should be able to trust to protect them. There is no excuse.

September 18 2012 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cindy

Whoever told the child to go into the car must be fired immediately. One mistake like that can cause a child to be murdered.

September 18 2012 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
paulpaxteny

The kid is safe and a lesson learned. Thats what is important.

September 18 2012 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Traci

When my dad was in the Air Force and we lived overseas, my brother and I went to a school that was not on a base - he and several other parents worked with Italians under a mountain so there was no base. So we had a k-8 school that was guarded by Italian carabinieri (cops) and surrounded by a fence. It was just one long building of classes. Anyway, the first day of school in a new country, my brother is in kindergarten and I'm in 4th grade. My mom told me to make sure my brother was on the bus, and when I got out of school, I couldn't find him. I got on my bus and when I didn't see him, I kept looking around out the windows. That's when I saw him on another bus! He looked at me, I looked at him, and it was one of those things where we had our hands up against the glass looking at each other helplessly as the buses took off. I yelled to the bus driver that my brother was on another bus, but these were Italians also, and he didn't know what I meant and kept motioning me to sit down. All I could do is watch him pull away on another bus. When I got home I told my mom. We had to go back to the school, and finally that bus came back to the school with my brother on it. He'd had to ride through the whole route with all the other kids, not knowing what was going to happen. I felt SOOOOO bad for him. We made sure he knew to FIND ME FIRST the next day. But apparently, some teacher had told him go, go, go find your bus! Tsk!

September 18 2012 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
troop8631

I wrestled a long time with the decision to send my daughter to public school or homeschool her. I eventually decided to send her to public school. After meeting the teacher way before the first day of school I told her that I would be picking my daughter up from school every single day. So imagine my surprise on the VERY FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN when I went to go pick up my daughter and was told she was not there. I ran to the office frantic asking for my daughter. They told me that she had been put on a bus that was a dance after school program. When I asked why they told me that my daughter had the exact same name as a 3rd grader who was in the dance program. I was then told that I needed to calm down and stop being hysterical and she would show up. Luckily I saw the bus and caught my daughter before she got on it. I never got an apology. When I questioned the teacher about it she said, "Well I asked her if she wanted to go to dance class and she said yes." What idiots!

September 18 2012 at 1:17 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to troop8631's comment
I <3 BMCSTMES

I too had contemplated homeschooling for my daughter but was met with gruff by all my family, saying she needed to be with other kids, bla, bla, bla. One week before school started, I went to the office and was told which bus stop my 5 yr old would be getting off. The office lady even called the bus company in my presence to confirm the stop. The first day of school arrived, and when I dropped my child off, I told her her dad and I would be at the bus stop waiting for her. We were there (early), video camera in hand and rolling when the bus finally came. The door opened and a few kids came out... but not mine. The driver said he had dropped a bunch of kids off at the stop just before. My husband ran while I jumped in the car and drove around the neighborhood towards my house. I found her at home. She said she was so scared she ran all the way home! We called the bus company who told us, "oh well the schedule changed, it was the school's responsibility to tell you." We called the school and the office lady apologized, of course, and said "the bus driver should not have left a kindergartener off without a parent being there." My child has told me in no uncertain terms that she will NEVER ride the bus again! Nor do I want her to. Of course, the matter of "pick-up" at the school is nothing but chaotic, to say the least. The "parents" wait in cars and all over the sidewalk. The children are let out with a few teachers, and the kids are supposed to wave to their parent and the parent is supposed to wave back. My daughter is very friendly... she'll wave to anyone. I do not like this method at all. I may just go with my original plan and homeschool.

September 18 2012 at 9:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
troop8631

I wrestled a long time with the decision to send my daughter to public school or homeschool her. I eventually decided to send her to public school. After meeting the teacher way before the first day of school I told her that I would be picking my daughter up from school every single day. So imagine my surprise on the VERY FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN when I went to go pick up my daughter and was told she was not there. I ran to the office frantic asking for my daughter. They told me that she had been put on a bus that was a dance after school program. When I asked why they told me that my daughter had the exact same name as a 3rd grader who was in the dance program. I was then told that I needed to calm down and stop being hysterical and she would show up. Luckily I saw the bus and caught my daughter before she got on it. I never got an apology. When I questioned the teacher about it she said, "Well I asked her if she wanted to go to dance class and she said yes." What idiots!

September 18 2012 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
falconhaggard

This happened to my 11 year old daughter this year too! She was supposed to ride bus 63 home, but a teacher at the school told my daughter "there's no such bus..." ( there IS a bus 63- it was parked 2 spaces down from where the teacher was) and put her on a different bus. I was well and truly freaked when my daughter did not get off at her bus stop, and I flew to the school to get help. At the school, they acted like it was totally no big deal, and I was told that My daughter would "show up eventually". I threatened to call the police, and THEN the school admin agreed to call the bus drivers for me. In the meantime, my daughter realized she was on the wrong bus, and got off of it before it was too far away from the subdivision we live in (the stop she got off at is at the far end of the subdivision where we live), and walked herself home. When she realized I wasn't home, she called my cell, and alerted me she was safe. NO thanks to the school!!

September 18 2012 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ChristineK

I had this happen to me and my 5 yr old daughter twenty years ago....first day of Kindergarten at a private Christian school in Pennsylvania. I told her to ride the bus with a little girl named Jillian because I had talked to Jillian's mother and she said she picked her kids up at the point where they were supposed to switch buses. I wanted Lauren to get to ride the bus, but wasn't comfortable with letting her get off one bus and on to another. So there I was at the stop where they switch, and Jillian gets off the bus but no Lauren. I found out that the BUS DRIVERS had taken Lauren off the bus and put her on another because one driver had NO children to transport that day (it was the first day for Lauren's school but other schools hadn't begun yet) and he wanted to get paid. So they asked Lauren where she lived and because I had taught her to know her address, the driver decided to take Lauren home. Unfortunately, HE didn't know where Humphrey Road was (there were two Humphrey Rd's and he took her to the wrong one). She was crying when I tracked them down on the wrong Humphrey Rd because SHE knew that it wasn't the way home. I was one pissed off Momma.....

September 18 2012 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ChristineK's comment
ChristineK

And for the record, I had taken her to school on the first day (in fact, I took her every day)....but wanted her to have the experience of riding the bus so I let her ride to the switch point. Those drivers were idiots. They had NO BUSINESS deciding where to take my child. I called their supervisor and gave him heck for it, because those drivers had no idea if I was sending her to a grandparent's or a babysitter's on that bus. She wasn't being picked up at home and they were trying to take a 5 yr old home to an empty house!!

September 18 2012 at 10:53 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Rabiddogg

Public Schools at their best. #SchoolChoiceNow

September 18 2012 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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