Frightened parents learn lesson in miscommunication with school

By Sherea Harris

IRONDALE, AL (WBRC) - A 6-year-old boy is home safe tonight after he went missing from his parents this afternoon.

The child's mother, Joy Minnifield, says she was to pick him up from Grantswood Elementary School. When she arrived, he was placed on a bus. And now, she blames the school for the mix-up.

Minnifield claims she verbally informed the school that she planned to pick up her child. She says the school didn't follow her instructions.

Irondale police officers were on foot and in patrol cars looking for him near his home at The Enclave at Mountain Brook when finally, after about 3 hours, prayers were answered.

He appeared from a neighbor's home safe and unharmed.

"Well we've been going door to door and then finally the little boy decided he was going to come home. He was playing at friend's house right down the hall," said Officer Jared Ling.

Principal Ann Tillman says school policy states parents must give a written notice if there are changes in a child's transportation.

Tillman says in this case, there was no written request to the school from Minnifield.

His mother says she wasn't informed about the school's policy, but she has learned from this frightening ordeal.

"Make sure I type something up tonight to let them know," said Joy Minnifield, the mother. "I was wondering if he walked off with a stranger because he's just friendly."

Parents and guardians can certainly learn from this situation.

Most schools have similar rules when it comes to how a child commutes home after school. Keep in mind that you may have to submit a written notice.

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