The mother of a six-year-old Guelph student is speaking out after her son went to the washroom before getting on the bus for a school-wide trip but later realizing, the bus left without him.
Lincoln is a senior-kindergarten student at St. Peter’s Catholic Elementary school.
On June 9, the entire school was going to church. Everyone boarded the buses and left – except Lincoln.
“I asked my teacher to go to the bathroom. My teacher forgot I was in the bathroom,” Lincoln told CTV News.
According to Lincoln and his mother – the school forgot Lincoln and when he tried to go back in the school, the doors were locked.
“I was scared and sad,” he said.
Lincoln explained how he hid in the bushes and shouted for help. Roughly ten minutes later, a teacher who decided to drive to church, heard Lincoln and watched him until the rest of the school returned.
“[At] the end of the day I went back and the teacher pulled me aside and said there was an incident, so I’m like oh my God, what did my kid do?” Amberly Delesie, Lincoln’s mother said.
Delesie added that the school told her about the incident but she said they didn’t tell her the whole truth.
“She says ‘no, no it was us. He missed the bus but it’s OK. He was with a teacher the whole time,’” said Delesie, who also claimed the school initially left out the fact that her son was left outside and alone in the rain.
“I’m still angry. It’s terrifying. All those things go through your head. What if they didn’t find them? What if he wandered off?” said Delesie.
Amberly Delesie and her six-year-old son, Lincoln, seen on June 19, 2023. (CTV News/Jeff Pickel)Delesie said she is worried the school does not have adequate safety precautions in place.
“They did the headcount in the classroom but then they leave the classroom and go to the bus and they didn’t do a headcount when they went on the bus. On the bus, they didn’t check the kids when they were on the bus so they had no idea he wasn’t with them. He’s six,” Delesie said.
She hopes this incident will be wakeup call.
“I just want to make sure that from this, something comes out of it. They start doing better head counts and they check on kids more because that’s past unacceptable. It’s pretty much negligent to lose a six-year-old,” she said.
Delesie said her son was pretty shaken up by the incident and has been reluctant to go to school as he is worried he will be left behind again.
SCHOOL BOARD RESPONDS
The Wellington Catholic School Board said they are aware of the incident.
“We regret this situation occurred and have been in contact with the parent to address the concerns. The safety and well-being of our students is of paramount concern and we have taken steps to remind all school administration of our field trip procedures and safety measures,” the board said in an email to CTV News.
The school board also said staff take field trip safety very seriously.
“The Wellington Catholic District School Board has field trip procedures to prevent situations like this one from arising,” the statement read.