SOUTH CAROLINA — A South Carolina elementary school teacher is under fire after a 5th grade student was left behind on a field trip to Carowinds amusement park.
The Sumter School District has confirmed that hundreds of the district’s ‘Gifted and Talented’ students took a field trip to the amusement park last week, and one of the students, a 5th grader from Kingsbury Elementary, was accidentally left at the park. They say the child was roughly two hours away from his home.
“The safety of our students is our top priority, and unfortunately district procedures were not followed,” the district told WIS in a statement. “The superintendent is taking this incident very seriously and is addressing this issue with the teacher directly.”
A family spokesperson told WIS that the teacher did a head-count in the amusement park but not on the bus. She said the fifth grader got separated from the group when he was allowed to go get a drink from a nearby vending machine. WIS is told the child was by himself for more than an hour, left the park briefly, and finally reentered to find a security guard.
The family spokesperson says the child was picked up by his father later that evening.
“This unfortunate incident has deeply shaken our entire family. We would like to make sure that changes to protocol are made to ensure the safety of our children and to eliminate future traumatic events for all students and families,” the family said in a statement.