Kindergartner walks 2.5 miles home alone after being forgotten by after-school program

HAYWARD, Calif. (WSVN) — A 5-year-old boy left behind by his after-school program on his first day of Kindergarten walked 2.5 miles back home by himself, using landmarks he recognized along the way.

Jackson Kirby made the long trek on his own after he was left behind at Fairview Elementary in Hayward, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

His mom Duana Kirby told KTVU that her son went to the bathroom at his school when classes were dismissed for the day.

While he was down the hall, an instructor for the Youth Enrichment after-school program visited his classroom and wrote his name on the board. But instead of waiting for the boy to return, Kirby says the staffer went to pick up other children from their classes.

Jackson returned to the room, only to find it empty. He went to the school’s parent pick-up area and waited, eventually deciding to walk home on his own.

“Jackson saw a building he knows he can see from our house,” Kirby said. “So he told me he thought if he could get to that building, he could get home.”

The little boy’s parents say they taught their son to always look both ways before crossing the street. He made it home and called his mother.

“He said, ‘mommy I made it home.’ I was like, ‘Jackson, you are supposed to be at school. Why did you take your phone?’ I thought he took his phone to school,” Kirby told KPIX. “He said, ‘No mommy, I’m at home.’ I said, ‘who brought you home?’ He said, ‘nobody, I walked.'”

Kirby says she isn’t comofortable with him staying in the after-school program because of the incident, but says she and her husband have no choice but to use it because they are both mail carriers.

The Hayward Unified School District released a statement to KTVU, saying, “The safety and security of our students is our highest priority. The district currently has policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety of children while at school and in our afterschool programs. We take this incident very seriously and are investigating to determine what steps need to be taken to ensure that this does not happen again.”

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