Parent questions CPSB’s commitment to safety after teen left at store during trip

By By Ashley Withers / American Press

One parent is questioning the Calcasieu Parish School Board’s commitment to student safety after a recent school-sponsored

trip left her child stranded at an area Walmart.

“My daughter called me and said, ‘Can you please come to Walmart and pick me up?’ And I was so confused because she was supposed

to be on her way to the football game,” said Phillis Kinchen.

Last Friday afternoon, Kinchen’s

daughter, Myiah Myles, and the rest of the Washington-Marion dance team

were headed to Leesville

to perform during the school’s football game. The bus stopped off

at the Walmart on U.S. 171 for the dance team sponsor to

pick up supplies. Myles left the bus at this time.

“I have been told by several of the other students that this lady (the dance sponsor) was all in Myiah’s face on the bus,”

Kinchen said. “She was saying mean things and embarrassing her in front of the whole bus.”

“I got off the bus and she (the sponsor) was just coming back on the bus, and she asked me where I was going and I said I

was going in Walmart and she said, ‘Fine with me,’ and she got back on the bus,” Myles said.

Myles said the sponsor came up to her 10 minutes later while talking on the phone with Washington-Marion principal Robert

Pete.

“She hung up with Mr. Pete and said,

‘Well I’m going to call your mother.’ So she walks out of Walmart while

saying I need

to get myself together and that I shouldn’t be so selfish and

should stop thinking about myself sometimes. That was the last

thing she told me, and then she walked out.”

Myles said she stood at the front of the Walmart while the bus pulled away.

Kinchen arrived at the store eight minutes after her daughter’s call.

She said she never received a phone call from the dance sponsor or the school’s principal.

“I know my daughter is OK and that is all that matters, but (the sponsor) never called to see if she was OK. The principal

tells me he drove to Walmart, but didn’t see her so he assumed I picked her up, but he never called to check.”

Pete declined comment.

“The situation was handled,” said David Buller, the head of the school system’s High School Department. “At the present we

have no further comment.”

Kinchen said she was told that Pete was reprimanded, but that there were no consequences for the sponsor because “she was

not an official CPSB employee.”

Superintendent Wayne Savoy told the American Press there is no official districtwide policy for extracurricular sponsors and coaches. He said these appointments are left entirely

up to each principal.

“At the end of the day, my 14-year-old daughter was left alone at a Walmart while she was under the care of Calcasieu Parish

schools,” Kinchen said.

“She and her safety were not a priority. It was my daughter today, but whose child will it be next time?”