More questions than answers after teen left at store during trip

By By Ashley Withers / American Press

A recent incident that left a Washington-Marion High School student abandoned at a local Walmart is raising questions regarding

the district’s policies for extracurricular sponsors and coaches.

On Sept. 28, Myiah Myles, 14, and the

rest of the Washington-Marion dance team were headed to Leesville to

perform during

the school’s football game. The bus stopped at the Walmart on U.S.

171 for the dance team sponsor to pick up supplies. Myles

left the bus at this time after an argument with Washington-Marion

dance team sponsor Erica Mouton and the bus drove away

without her.

Mouton declined to comment, saying that she had been advised by “higher ups” not to speak to the American Press.

District 2 school board member Fredman

Hardy said he was contacted by Myles’ mother, Phyllis Kinchen, shortly

after the incident.

“We shouldn’t leave children on the side of the street under any conditions,” Hardy said. “I do not know both sides of the

story, but we do not condone any case where the child was left unchaperoned.”

However, Hardy said he does not plan to bring the issue up at the next Calcasieu Parish School Board meeting.

“I think the parent is rightly upset, but it is up to the superintendent and the school to decide what happens now,” he said.

Kinchen said she was told that Washington-Marion principal Robert Pete was reprimanded, but that there were no consequences

for the sponsor because “she was not an official (Calcasieu Parish School Board) employee.”

Superintendent Wayne Savoy said there is no official districtwide policy for extracurricular sponsors and coaches. He said

these appointments are left entirely up to each school principal.

The American Press requested the specific guidelines for extracurricular sponsors — if such guidelines exist — from Pete on Friday but was turned


“Let me get this straight: You want me to give you information to use to write another negative article about me?” Pete said.

“I’m going to give you the same answer I did yesterday: You have to go through the Central Office.”

Calcasieu Parish’s high school director, David Buller, was out of the office Thursday and Friday afternoons.

The American Press is making a formal request to the Calcasieu Parish School Board for the guidelines regarding extracurricular sponsors and

coaches and any correspondence with Mouton regarding the issue.