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W.Va. school board to examine drop-off policy

December 12, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The president of the Jefferson County Board of Education said Tuesday night he thinks the school system needs to examine whether it will continue to drop off students at day-care centers where no adults are there to meet them.

Pete Dougherty's comments follow an incident last Wednesday in which a first-grade girl from North Jefferson Elementary School was dropped off at a closed day-care center along Border Road.

Students were dismissed from school early last Wednesday due to snow and someone called North Jefferson Elementary to inform officials not to drop the girl off at the day-care center because it was closed, school officials said.

For some reason, the message was not passed along to the girl's bus driver, officials said.

When the bus driver arrived at the day-care center, the driver assumed the center was open because cars were parked outside, officials said.

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The 6-year-old girl was dropped off at the day-care center.

A neighbor of the girl recognized her and took her home, Jefferson County Schools spokeswoman Gail Woods said.

Dougherty said day-care centers in the county typically have an adult ready to meet students being dropped off at their centers. The school system needs to examine the practice of letting children off at day-care centers and it was clear there were "a number of mistakes made" in last Wednesday's incident, Dougherty said.

Board of Education member Scott Sudduth said he though the incident was "inexcusable," but believed school administrators have reacted well to the situation.

Two similar incidents were reported recently in nearby Maryland school systems - one each in Washington and Frederick counties.

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