Jackie Whylly's son AJ was left behind on a school field trip
Losing a child is every parent's worst nightmare. When you drop your child off at school for the day, you trust you're leaving them in responsible hands and that they'll be there when you return. Well, that wasn't the case for a Marshall, Minnesota family.
When Jackie Whylly was first told, she thought it was a bad joke.
"Asked her where's AJ? and she (the teacher) said AJ was left in South Dakota." Said Whylly.
Jackie's 4-year old son AJ spent Tuesday on a preschool field trip to the South Dakota Children's Museum in Brookings. Only when it was time to go home, the class boarded the bus, but AJ wasn't on it.
"During the transition from the museum to the bus there was not a new head count that was conducted while the students were on the bus and the buses departed." Said Dr. Klint Willert, Superintendent of Marshall Public Schools.
Leaving the 4-year old all alone at the museum more than an hour away from home. AJ has problems speaking, so museum employees worked backwards calling all the schools that visited that day. They got a hold of AJ's teacher just minutes before the buses arrived back in Marshall.
"You know I'm glad the story didn't end up somebody did take our son or something bad happened to him, I'm thankful for that. I'm glad that God had his hands on him but I just feel like it should be just as big a deal as if somebody did." Said Whylly.
Jackie and her husband drove themselves the 62 miles to Brookings so they were the ones to pick up AJ. Jackie says she volunteered to be a chaperone multiple times but was told there were more than enough adults already going on the trip. The Marshall Public School District is doing a thorough investigation of it's field trip policies, but right now has no answer to why AJ was left behind.
"Certainly we extend our apologies and our deepest regrets for what happened we want to provide every assurance that this certainly won't happen again." Said Dr. Willert.
Dr. Willert says the teacher in question has been placed on paid administrative leave while they investigate the incident, at this time no other disciplinary action has been taken. Jackie says she was contacted by the district apologizing for the incident but has not received an apology from AJ's teacher.
The Whylly's did file a report with the police but so far no other legal action has taken place. The Whylly's want to thank the museum staff for taking care of AJ while he was left behind and all the other community members that have offered their support.
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