An understandably upset father was caught on tape condemning officials at his children’s school for leaving his daughter unattended three times.
Tristan King and his wife visited Norton Elementary in Snellville, Georgia, on February 28 after their 5-year-old daughter didn’t make it on the school bus for a third time, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. According to the couple, the bus left even though their son, a fourth-grader, asked if he could get off to locate his sister.
“He called us screaming that his sister wasn’t on the bus and they wouldn’t wait for her or let him off to find her,” said King.
The fourth-grader was supposed to walk his sister to the bus and was given a cellphone in case of emergencies.
A female staff member tried to blame the transportation department for the issue, but King wasn’t having it.
“You’re responsible — I release my child to get on your bus to come to your school,” King responded. “Until my child makes it home, you’re responsible for my child.”
Similar incidents happened at the beginning of the school year and shortly after winter break in January. When she was found the second time, the couple received a call at 3:15 p.m. instructing them to pick up their daughter by 4 p.m., or no one would be there to watch her because of a party being thrown for teachers. Both of them work an hour away, so they had to arrange for a relative to retrieve the little girl.
“The first time I was calm, I was understanding…the second time, I was mad but I let it go,” he told them. “The third time, my son called me crying from the bus, screaming that he doesn’t know where his sister is.”
“What if the next time, she got into somebody’s car?” asked her mother.
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The assistant principal eventually apologized. King later accused the school of banning him from campus for the rant.
“What you don’t see is I was told by Gwinnett County Police and the Schools (SRO) that I can not come back on school grounds ever again on my own,” he wrote on Facebook. “If I need to come for any reason I must call the school so they can call the police to be there while I’m there. If I came on my own I will be arrested for Criminal Trespassing. How is a concerned parent a criminal now? Yet y’all can lose my 5yr old daughter 3x’s and that’s ok.”
Principal Melania Lee denied King was barred from the school, according to Yahoo Lifestyle.
“At no time was this parent issued a criminal trespass warning, he is free to come and go to the school like any other parent,” she wrote in a letter to parents. “That said, it is never appropriate for a parent or adult to use foul language around students or toward school staff.”
She also claims the staff “worked with the parents that afternoon to put a plan in place to ensure this type of situation would not occur again.” Lee allegedly hosted a meeting with the front office staff and assistant principals “regarding how to better work with concerned parents.”
King isn’t satisfied with the outcome.
“I haven’t spoken to anyone,” he said. “I’m worried that this is an epidemic that has been swept under the rug.”
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