Klein ISD first-grader says substitute teacher told him to leave school; stranger finds him wandering streets
SPRING, TX (KTRK) -- A woman opened her door Monday to find her young son standing there with a stranger.
"I didn't get to thank you earlier," mother LaToyla Houston said to the woman who brought her son home to her.
It was an overdue thank you after a day full of worry.
"Anything could have happened to my baby," she said.
Houston said goodbye to her six-year-old son, Devin, Monday morning and didn't expect to see him until after school. Instead, the doorbell rang around 11:15am. On the other side was Devin with a stranger.
"I'm frantic," Houston said. "Why do you have my son?"
The first grader at Klein ISD's Roth Elementary said he told his teacher -- a substitute -- he didn't feel well. In return, he said she told him to leave.
"She told me just go walk and go home," Devin said. "Take your backpack and go walk."
And that's exactly what he did. He walked right out of school, got about four blocks away and encountered Viviene Forbes-Thomas.
"The Lord put me out there to protect that little boy," Forbes-Thomas said.
With his directions, she drove him home.
"I said, 'left, right, left, right,'" Devin said.
"He could have gone up to anybody, and it could have been the wrong person. Thank God it was the right person," Houston said.
Klein ISD acknowledges the situation and released this statement Monday: "The Klein ISD has very strict requirements and procedures regarding student supervision that is to be followed by all employees including substitutes. Unfortunately, today they were not followed by a substitute at Roth Elementary and a student left a classroom without the substitute's knowledge and began walking home. This substitute is no longer eligible for employment in Klein ISD."
Houston thinks the punishment isn't harsh enough.
"If I leave my son here alone and he wanders the neighborhood and a neighbor calls, you bet the police will come and arrest me," she said.
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