An elementary school in Washington, DC, accidentally handed over the wrong 8-year-old student to a child-welfare worker, causing the young boy’s family to panic when they arrived at the school to pick him up that day and realized he was missing.
Washington City Paper reported that a Child and Family Services Agency case worker arrived at the Harriet Tubman Elementary School on January 31 to pick up a child for a visit with his father.
But the school brought out a different student who happened to have the same distinctive first name, and the case worker left the school with the incorrect child around 2 p.m. that day.
The mistake wasn’t caught until the student’s relatives arrived at the school that afternoon to pick him up, and learned he had left with a child-welfare worker.
In response to a request for comment, the CFSA directed Insider to comments from its director, Brenda Donald, quoted in The Washington Post. Donald told the newspaper that the case worker had not previously met the child he was supposed to pick up before arriving at the school, and the child he mistakenly picked up never raised any questions about why he was taken from his classroom.
“He’s a little kid, and usually the schools are trying to explain in a nice way that here’s a nice person from CFSA who is going to take you to McDonald’s to have lunch,” Donald told The Post. “It was a mistake, and it’s explainable. And again, I can understand the family being upset.”
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