published Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Chattanooga: Eighth grader left at Dollywood during school trip

by Adam Crisp

Some Hamilton County teachers are under school investigation after an eighth grader was left behind on a class field trip to Dollywood.

It happened Wednesday, and Hixson Middle School officials were oblivious to the oversight until Thursday morning, said District 3 school board member Everett Fairchild.

No one knew about the situation until the boy’s parents came to the school and alerted administrators to the oversight.

“We have policies and procedures in place to prevent something like this from happening,” said system spokeswoman Danielle Clarke. “Obviously, those procedures weren’t followed fully in this situation.”

Three teachers on the bus are being investigated, Ms. Clarke said, and could face disciplinary actions.

Chaperones and teachers are supposed to follow three steps when loading a bus: counting heads, calling roll and making eye contact with every student that is supposed to be aboard the bus.

The student was late for the bus and when he returned, it had already departed, so he called his parents on a cell phone, Ms. Clarke said. They told him to alert park security then drove to the Pigeon Forge, Tenn. theme park to pick him up, she said.

“We can’t go back and change it, but we can make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Ms. Clark said.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

about Adam Crisp...

Adam Crisp covers education issues for the Times Free Press. He joined the paper's staff in 2007 and initially covered crime, public safety, courts and general assignment topics. Prior to Chattanooga, Crisp was a crime reporter at the Savannah Morning News and has been a reporter and editor at community newspapers in southeast Georgia. In college, he led his student paper to a first-place general excellence award from the Georgia College Press Association. He earned ...

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511acr said...

I do not know how many kids were on the bus, but I will say that enough pressure is placed on the teachers to achieve the "goals" of the government! Was the kid counted to begin with, did he leave the bus without the teachers seeing him, etc. No matter what the case, in this "legalistic society" the school system should refrain from long distant trips. They should keep them local so that the parent/parents can pick them up if there is an error in counting!

May 22, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
Oz said...

This just proves everyday math doesn't work in everday life.

May 22, 2009 at 10:04 p.m.
star123zyx said...

i was a student that went on that field trip.some students that rode to dollywood went back home with their parents.also, some students were on the bus(we took two buses to and from dollywood) they werent supposed to be on and maybe that was the mistake.I dont think the teachers should be exactly held responsible because they told us students that if any student wasnt back at the bus by five,the student would be left there and would have to call their parent.Also the teachers did do a head count as far as i can remember.

May 24, 2009 at 2:33 p.m.
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