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.
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."
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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