Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No child left behind

A 4-year-old boy was left alone at a train station in Lund, Sweden. His family were flying to Iraq from Copenhagen, but when they got on the train, he somehow fell behind and was left on the platform.

When the parents turned to the ticked-collector and pleaded for the operators to open the train doors, they refused. "The doors will not open until the next stop," the conductor said.

"We cannot see that we did anything wrong," a train company spokeswoman told Aftonbladet. "We were following protocol."

The driver of the train said in a statement through the company that he would have "obviously" stopped the train if he knew a little boy had been left behind," but this was not communicated to him.

A 5-year-old boy in New York City somehow got on the wrong school bus the other day. The first-grader - who was supposed to be walked next-door to an after-school program - told his mother he had gotten on the bus because a school aide told him to. He got off 2 miles from home - all alone - until another parent saw him and brought him back to school.

"Our driver tells us protocol was followed," a bus company spokeswoman said. "No child was left alone."

The driver has been suspended without pay; Education officials would not say if the school aide was disciplined. An Education Department spokeswoman said the agency launched an investigation after the school notified it of the incident. Two DOE representatives even went to the school the next day to monitor dismissal.

In Sweden, the family is claiming discrimination. The cold reception they got from the train staff was due to the family's foreign descent, the father said. The case is under investigation by the Ombudsman for Ethnic Discrimination.

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