Wednesday, February 02, 2011

TOP STORY >> Cabot student lost after recess

The principal of Mountain Springs Elementary School in Cabot has ordered teachers to count students upon returning from recess after a student was left unattended outside for nearly a half an hour last Wednesday.

Cabot Superintendent Tony Thurman said a second-grader “went around the corner of the building alone, sat down and went to sleep.”

Thurman said students spent recess in a different area than usual because of the muddy schoolyard. He believes the change in routine may have led to the mistake.

“This was an unfortunate accident, and we are thankful that the student was fine. This should not have occurred and we have reviewed procedures and implemented precautions as a specific result of the incident.

 Thurman said that Mountain Spring’s principal is requiring staff to count students after recess. She will also revise faculty schedules to provide for additional supervision, he said.

 The student’s mother, Renee Bettger, was upset when she heard her 7-year-old was left outside in the cold. She holds the school administration responsible.

“I think parents who have children in the Cabot School District have the right to know that there is not adequate supervision during recess. I’ve been told the state minimum requirements for recess duty is one adult per 100 or less children. To me, that is not nearly enough,” Bettger said.

Bettger also noted that the school has been open since August, and that there is still not a fence around the playground.

“The district has ordered a fence to be installed when weather allows. That will keep students from entering the area between the wings of the building and along the perimeter of the playground,” he said. 

Thurman said all Cabot schools follow state guidelines about monitoring children.

The school nurse examined the child, and the principal called her parents.