Mum claims her five-year-old son was sent to walk home alone on his third day of school.

Mum Sara Tavares, from Florida, had organised for her son’s grandmother to pick him up from school, but instead, the child was found by an officer about a mile from the school, after having wandered around lost for 45 minutes.

“I’m furious,” Sara told local news service WFTV. “I mean, I’m so – I’m still shaking about it.”

Five-year-old Joey Hoffman told the news station he was surprised to see the officer, reports Yahoo 7.

“The cop found me,” he said. “I thought I was going to jail.”

Grandma was waiting for him to walk home together, but he left via a different exit.

The school says the problem was one of communication. For some reason, young Joey was listed as a child who walks home on his own and was sent out another door with the other walkers.

“The incident serves as a reminder for all parents to have clear communication with their children and teachers about what should happen before and after school,” a spokeswoman for the schools told WFTV.

Is it even legal to let kids that age walk home alone? 

Share your comments below

  • At some schools (especially private ones) a parent or other authorised person must collect the 5 y.o. children from the classroom at the end of the day. The parents are encouraged to take them to the classroom in the morning too.


  • I can’t believe they would even condone letting a child that age walk home alone. Where’s the common sense


  • Where’s the common sense being exercised? The kid is 5. Surely SOMEONE would question a child that age being allowed to walk home on their own?!?


  • Very scary situation- anything could have happened. Glad he’s okay!


  • That would have been so frightening. That fear and shock of trying to find your child. Just terrible. Glad he’s okay.


  • Oh my goodness, how could this happen. Thankfully he is safe.


  • Over there he should be safe enough,are’nt parents allowed to pack hand guns with their lunch?


  • The spokeswoman or is it spokeperson? said this serves as a reminder to all parents!How about a reminder to all schools?Our Principal is a male so I would have gone his throat,Although our school won’t allow five year olds out of their class rooms unless a parent or carer are visibly waiting.I am glad my kid’s are in a smaller Australian school.Cheer’s Krusty.


  • 5 years of age is too young to walk alone – surely the teachers/school would have questioned it!!


  • I can imagine mum was furious. The communication about who picks the kids up is important and should be in writing and very clear.


  • The child’s age should have been ringing alarm bells.


  • I’m not sure that any 5 year old would be allowed to walk home alone? Surely the teacher thought it was odd and tried to double check it?


  • Here in Victoria children under the age of 12 have to be actively supervised to and from school (according to Vic Police). I still walk my two children to and from school every day, But i have friends who let their 6 yr old walk 700 mtrs down a busy road alone.


  • Geez looks to have been a slip up on the good old paper form..


  • Bit scary ! Stressful for the grandma too !


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