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Athens City School student left unattended at Nashville Zoo

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 7:45 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WAFF) - An Athens City School student who was on a school trip to the Nashville Zoo on Monday was left at the zoo for hours after not being able to find the school group.

The HEART Academy at Julian Newman Elementary School student reportedly approached a zoo employee saying he or she couldn’t find the field trip group. According to zoo officials, the staff followed “Lost Child Protocol” and kept the child in the care of zoo management until the school group or parent was located.

The student and parents were reunited later in the day.

Statement from Athens City Schools regarding this incident:

Athens City Schools can confirm that an elementary school student was left at the Nashville Zoo while on a field trip on Monday, March 21. A parent of the student involved has asked us not to comment any more than necessary, and we want to honor that request. The student was safe with a Nashville Zoo employee until picked up by his parents, and school officials communicated regularly with the parents and zoo personnel until arrival back to Alabama. According to Superintendent Beth Patton, “We are so glad that the student was safe and knew what procedures to follow, and we appreciate the protocols in place at the zoo for instances such as this. As you can imagine, we are all devastated that this occurred. We are currently reviewing this matter and our field trip procedures.

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