KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City pre-school is apologizing after a four-year-old boy was left inside a hot daycare van for more than six hours on Friday.
The Children’s Place in Brookside says it is horrified by what happened and admits dropping the ball.
Keshawn Harris, 4, was never removed from the van Friday morning when it arrived at the Children’s Place Preschool.
His mother doesn’t understand how they could forget her son and her description of it is heartbreaking.
“He said, ‘I was crying for you, Mommy.’ He just stayed in his seat crying all day long,” said Latanya Harris.
The boy should have gone into school at about 9 a.m. It wasn’t until 2:15 in the afternoon when the driver found him in the dark-tinted van. An hour after he was discovered, the school called his mother. The school took him to Children’s Mercy Hospital to be checked out and they found he was suffering from dehydration.
“He was soaking wet, so they had to change his clothes where he had sweated and used the restroom on himself,” Latanya said.
“We’re so incredibly sorry to Keshawn and to his mom that it occurred,” said Roxanne Hill, vice president of development. “Obviously we’re horrified. I mean it could’ve had the most tragic results. We’re fortunate that it didn’t.”
Hill said the school reported itself to the hotline number at social services. Hill couldn’t answer why the preschool teacher didn’t notice and report that Keshawn wasn’t in class.
“We don’t know. That’s something obviously we are looking at internally,” she said.
Keshawn had been going to the daycare for more than two years.
“He’s afraid to get on the van. I had a hard time getting him to go to school today,” his mom said. “But I let him know that he was going to be safe.”
Latanya said when she puts him on the van each day, she signs her name. She says the school is supposed to check the parental signatures to know the number and identity of the children who got a ride in the school van.
“When I left he was in therapy talking about what happened,” Latanya said. “He’s really upset with the van driver. He thinks they should get fired, go to jail, get punished, whatever.”
Latanya said she wanted an apology from the driver, and on Monday afternoon she showed FOX 4 a hand-written letter of apology from him.
“He would’ve been dead. I think my son would’ve died if it would’ve been a hot summer day,” said Latanya.