Kim Jackson’s child is 6 years old. A good kid, says his daycare teacher Susan Tourban, but one who seeks adventure.
The adventure the child and a friend had last week, however, left his mom steaming and pointing fingers at the school district.
The first-grader was supposed to get on the bus at the City of Franklin Magnet School to go to his after-school program at Rosa Parks School, but he and his friend, a second-grader, never got on the bus. Instead they walked to their daycare and got in trouble along the way.
Franklin Principal Barbara Penny James said both children were walked to the bus by their teachers, as they ought to be, but that, somehow, the two slipped away. “He has a history. He has money and goes to the store,” Penny James said. “Little boys do this.”
Since the incident, Penny James said the school is keeping a closer eye on Jackson’s child. “He is being watched, since the incident happened,” said the 26-year principal.
Interim Superintendent Steve Goldstone had not been briefed on the incident, but expressed concern, especially when he learned the age of the child in question. “With the real little ones, sometimes they get lost” just going to the classroom, he said. “I think we have to be concerned about all the children that need to be on the school bus. We have to find ways to improve our practice.”
Jackson doesn’t excuse her child’s role in the misadventure – he and his friend ended up destroying property and getting police involved. She said, however, there would have been no problem had the adults in question seen to it that the child had been put on the bus properly.
“He crossed University (Avenue) and San Pablo (Avenue) by himself,” Jackson said.