3-year-old boy gets lost and left behind by class, teachers on preschool field trip

(HOUSTON) — A 3-year-old boy was left behind by his class and his teachers while on a school field trip last week and his mother was notified days after the incident took place.

Karter Williams, a 3-year-old student in the Houston Independent School District (HISD) Head Start program at Thompson Elementary in Houston, Texas, was on a field trip with his class to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo last Friday when he became separated from his classmates and teachers.

It is unclear how long Karter was wandering around for on his own.

“What if he felt like, ‘I’m not going to see my mom. My teacher’s left me. My friends left me,"” Kelsey Williams, Karter’s mother, said through tears in an interview with ABC News’ Houston station KTRK. “Was he crying?”

Karter was then discovered in the massive crowds by a rodeo visitor who was then able to connect him with another class from the school who were also on a field trip to the same location.

Meanwhile, Karter’s class was already on the bus and headed back to Thompson Elementary School without him.

To make matters worse, Kelsey Williams was only told about the incident three days later after the weekend on Monday morning.

“Why did you not report it?” said Williams to KTRK. “’Well, he was back at the school, we found him.’ “’We’ didn’t find him. Someone else found him. A man. I don’t know the man’s name. I don’t know what the man looks like. I’m thankful for him, but I don’t know who that man is.”

The school’s principal — and not Karter’s teacher — was the one who notified a very angry Williams on Monday. Williams then proceeded to meet with an HISD official about the incident.

HISD released a statement regarding the incident but did not address any specifics surrounding teacher discipline and how the incident could have transpired in the first place.

“HISD is aware of an incident involving a Thompson Elementary School student who was inadvertently separated from his class while on a field trip to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo last Friday,” read the statement. “The student was located within minutes by an event attendee who quickly reunited the student with another class from his school. The student was safely transported back to the campus with that class. The district works diligently to ensure the well-being of every child entrusted to our care, as the safety of our students is always our top priority.”

Williams now says she doesn’t feel comfortable sending her son back to the same teacher and she thinks that the incident should cost the teacher who lost track of Karter her job.

Said Williams: “For you to be so careless, irresponsible, nonchalant … I honestly don’t think that she should be an educator or someone to protect children.”

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