5-year-old found walking along highway, school didn’t know he was gone

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Paris, TN (WSMV) — A Henry County mother said she was horrified to hear her 5-year-old son was spotted along a highway after walking out of school.

“When they picked him up, the semi was coming right towards him,” said Sharon Younger of Buchanan. “It could’ve hit him. When they contacted the school, the school didn’t even know that he was gone. He’s only 5 years old.”

Younger’s little boy, Christian, is her first child in his first year in school.

She said she was already in a constant state of worry that he’s OK, and it has become so much worse since an emergency phone call from Lakewood Elementary Monday.

“This teacher was just falling apart and then I started falling apart because I didn’t know what happened,” Younger said.

Henry County Director of Schools Sam Miles said Christian’s teacher told him to sit in a desk right outside the door to do make-up work.

Younger said Christian got up, walked out and was spotted along the highway by Tracy and Mike Raymer.

“It’s constantly on my mind what could’ve happened if it hadn’t been for Tracy and Mike Raymer,” Younger said. “My baby may not have been here today.”

Miles said he understands Younger’s worry and procedures have been put in place to make sure teachers’ eyes are on the children at all times. Miles said that includes not sending any child out of the room for make-up work.

“I really think there should be alarms on the doors to notify the office whenever a door opens,” Younger said.

Holding tight to a fall school picture with Christian back at Lakewood, Younger said she just can’t shake the worry for her son.

“Parents should not be afraid to send their child to school over anything,” she said.


  • OneMan'sOpinion

    Alarms would make recess interesting. It would make receiving lunches or custodial work a pain in the ass. There can be over 30 doorways in a school building. Let’s put the brunt of the blame with the child. He did something unacceptable. There is a first time for everything so now he has to be watched for repeat behavior.
    If one child in a line of children being led to the lunchroom by a teacher jumps out of the line undetected to go to the restroom because the child has to pee really bad, is it the teacher’s fault or the child? At what age do we stop keeping a hawk-like eye on them and trust them to follow directions and procedures?

  • anothermansopinion

    Put it like this one mans opinion if ur watching ur dog go to the bathroom and a hunter happens to accidentally shoot it. Is that the dogs fault for being a dog or are u going to blame the hunter?

    • OneMan'sOpinion

      Nicely put.
      Can you come up with an example where there are many dogs and much fewer “watchdogs”? I could also say that there are expectations that children are taught to understand. At age 5 though, I’d consider that the borderline (preschool and regular school). One more thing: A child being a child versus a dog being a dog would make all sorts of bad, illegal, immoral and dangerous behaviors acceptable simply because that’s just a kid being a kid.

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