Carson City School District to re-address policy after student mix-up |

Carson City School District to re-address policy after student mix-up

The Carson City School District is looking to improve its policy for parents picking up students at school.

The policy execution was called into question recently after a case of mistaken identity at Mark Twain Elementary. A parent of a kindergartner said she was called to come pick up her child from the nurse’s office, however, when she arrived, the student who was waiting wasn’t her child.

“The mother was correct, we identified two students with the same name who both had medical issues so when the nurse sent home the notice, the wrong parent was called,” said Superintendent Richard Stokes. “The discrepancy comes as to what proximity the child got to the wrong parent.”

The parent claimed the child was shoved through the lobby doors to her before she corrected the mistake, however, the school’s security footage showed the child never entered the lobby where the parent was before the correction was made, Stokes said after viewing the footage.

The parent reached out to the Nevada Appeal via email about the incident but never responded to the Appeal’s request for an interview.

Stokes said though the mistake was corrected in time, the incident provides a chance to look at how to tighten up their pick-up policy.

“The school figured out it wasn’t the right kid before, but regardless it is a good opportunity to sharpen the school’s procedures,” Stokes said. “We want to make sure we are protecting the interests of our families and children.”

The district’s policy when parents come to pick up a student from school is to check a photo identification of the parent before a child is released, as well as check the student who’s being released.

“I see how the mix-up happened, but we always ask for our folks to check if the student is correct and the office manager will ask the parent for their ID,” Stokes said. “If that didn’t occur at Mark Twain then that is on us.”

Stokes said it has been nearly a decade since a mix-up like this has been reported, before they implemented the rule to check identification prior to releasing a child.

“We want to be careful because the children have been entrusted to us,” Stokes said. “But the fact it happened is good enough reason to make sure we are sharpening our procedure.”

Stokes said he’s planning on speaking with all of the site principals at their monthly meeting in October.

“We need to make sure we stay sharp and stay vigilant so we know where our kids are and that practices are being followed … we always want to improve these things and it may be uncomfortable but we want to try to learn and improve our process.”