Outraged parents pull children from West Grand school after 8 year old wanders away
May 19, 2009
More than one month after their 8-year-old daughter walked unescorted from the PK-8 School in Kremmling to the Kum and Go when she was supposed to be in class, Jennifer and Danny Payne have not allowed their four children back into the West Grand school.
“I’m not going to send my kids back to the school where they can just walk out,” said Danny about a week after the incident. “An 8-year-old is pretty defenseless in my eyes.”
He said his daughter Tia, a first-grader, left the school unnoticed “sometime in the morning” on April 13 and that he and his wife happened to find out about it from one of their other children’s teachers.
“We, as parents, expected to be notified,” he said. “I’d like a reasonable explanation of why I wasn’t called.”
School Principal Kelly Farrell declined to comment on the incident, as did acting West Grand Superintendent Paul Reese.
Danny Payne said as he understands it, Tia walked to the store, where a clerk called the school and Farrell came and retrieved her.
“It scared me, and it shocked me,” he said, adding that he became angry when school officials would not explain why they didn’t call the parents to let them know it had happened and their child was OK.
The Paynes have children in kindergarten, first, fourth and sixth grades. They are home schooling them for the remainder of the year, and the children have been accepted into Summit County schools for next year, Danny said.
The self-employed electrical contractor said having the children in Summit schools may work out better for the self-emplyed couple anyway, as most of their work is in Summit County.
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