Father protesting after son left at park by teacher
CTV Southwestern Ontario
Published Tuesday, February 8, 2011 6:54PM EST
A Kitchener father is furious after his son, who has special needs, was left at a park with strangers during a class trip while his teacher took the rest of the students back to school.
Kevin Mullins has pulled his son and daughter out of Queen Elizabeth Public School in Kitchener, and has been protesting for two days, demanding justice for his nine-year-old son Ryan.
Ryan says "The teacher told me it was time to go, and I didn't want to go, and she left me there." And Mullins says the teacher never returned.
Mullins adds, "Ryan has never crossed the street without his father's hand. Basically, he don't go nowhere, he has a problem retaining memory, especially with words and numbers."
According to the school board, an elderly couple at the park stepped in to watch Ryan while the teacher took the rest of the class back to school, and then rushed back for him.
The school board is taking the blame, saying the incident shouldn't have happened and that the teacher will be disciplined.
Gregg Bereznick is the superintendent of education for the Waterloo Region District School Board.
He says the teacher was in a difficult situation and she "was quite aware that there should have been the extra support and tried to manage the situation as best she could."
The ‘extra support' should have been an educational assistant, since the class was designated ‘special needs,' but the board admits the teacher went on the field trip alone, and calls it "a mistake."
While the board says it is taking disciplinary action against the teacher, Mullins is calling for both the teacher and the school's principal to be fired.