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Mom Says Her 2-Year-Old Son Walked Out Of Preschool Without Anyone Noticing

Photo: Halfpoint / Shutterstock
mom comforting upset son

Deciding to enroll your child in preschool can be difficult. For some parents, it’s the first time they’ll be without their child during the day, and it can be challenging to trust others with your youngster. 

One mother made this tough decision, only to be left seriously questioning it.

The mom said her 2-year-old son walked out of his preschool alone.

An anonymous mother took to Reddit to ask for advice after her family experienced something that could have ended in tragedy. She explained that she recently enrolled her 2-year-old son in a short 1-hour-and-15-minute day program run by their local park district.

She dropped him off and everything seemed to be going fine — for about 10 minutes.

Thankfully, the mother decided to sit in her car in the parking lot instead of leaving after dropping her son off. This turned out to be a pivotal decision that she is undoubtedly grateful for. 

“About 10 minutes after dropping him off, I heard something outside and I [looked] out my car window to see my son all by himself, crying for me,” she wrote. "Thank God I was still there."

Mom Says 2-Year-Old Son Walked Out Of Preschool Without Anyone NoticingPhoto: Halfpoint / Shutterstock

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The mother got her son and took him back into the building, where things didn't look much better. “We went back inside and the teacher was distraught, saying they’re having a ‘rough’ first day, but I don’t think she even realized that he had gotten all the way outside by himself,” she said. “She tried taking him back in but he started crying.”

“The other kids in the classroom were also crying,” the mother added.

Mom Says 2-Year-Old Son Walked Out Of Preschool Without Anyone NoticingPhoto: Marko Poplasen / Shutterstock

The mom took swift action to take care of her son. “I thought screw this and grabbed his things and left,” she said. “I was so emotional and angry about it that I couldn’t even say anything to the teachers.”

Now, the upset mother is unsure of what to do. “I don’t even know how to proceed from here,” she wrote. “He’s definitely not going to continue the class.”

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It appears that the mother could take legal recourse.

A look at the comments on Reddit showed that no one was exactly sure about how the mother should proceed. Some recommended reaching out to local police, CPS, or the Department of Health. 

“I don’t think there’s much legal case to be made here," one commenter wrote. "Regardless of what you do for formal reporting — I would certainly write an email to the director and detail what happened and when and request a refund.”

Despite the lack of certainty on Reddit, it does, in fact, seem that this mom can take legal action if she so chooses. According to the U.S. government’s child care website, “Each state and territory has a system to receive and respond to reports of possible child care health and safety violations.”

The website features resources for each state in the U.S., including phone numbers and email addresses that can be used to contact someone to make a report. Some states also have a way to do so online.

Mom Says 2-Year-Old Son Walked Out Of Preschool Without Anyone NoticingPhoto: fizkes / Shutterstock

While it is comforting to know that there are ways to report this kind of negligence, the fact still remains that this mother and her son went through a traumatic experience that could have ended very differently if she hadn’t been there, ready to intervene.

As the mother in this situation pointed out, that’s what it all comes down to. “A toddler got outside all by himself and no one even seemed to notice or even be looking for him,” she wrote. “I can’t imagine what would have happened if I wasn’t there outside.”

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.