This story was originally published in March 2019.
The Toronto District School Board launched an investigation into Knob Hill Public School this week after staff failed to notice that one of its students, a 4-year old girl, had gone missing. The kindergartener wandered outside on Monday afternoon unnoticed to play, and when she tried to get back in, the door was locked. Scared and unsure of what else to do, the four-year-old walked home alone in the cold.
Sukhinder Khepar, the mother of the little girl, explained to CBC that she was in a state of shock when she answered her front door and found her four-year-old standing outside. The concerned mother quickly got in contact with the school’s principal who had no idea the girl had gone missing.
The principal later explained that Khepar's daughter usual teachers were not in attendance that day and had two substitute teachers filling in for them. The substitutes, who were unfamiliar with the child, had reportedly not noticed that she had disappeared from the classroom.
Khepar was understandably dissatisfied by the excuse explaining that her daughter had been missing for almost an hour before she alerted the school of what had happened. "At least 40 minutes had passed. No one had noticed she was missing," Khepar told CBC.
Following an investigation by the Toronto School Board who deemed the situation unacceptable, the Scarborough public school began practicing several new safety precautions. Alarms installed on the doors to the kindergarten classrooms will now alert teachers of anyone coming or going, preventing any kids from sneaking out.
Another significant change involves the supervision of supply teachers who will no longer be permitted to be solely responsible for the kindergarteners. One teacher who is familiar with the class must now be in the room at all times to ensure a proper headcount is taken.