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First-grader's mom upset by after-school mix-up

Posted at 8:56 PM, Jan 06, 2016

CINCINNATI -- Constance Rodney knew it was going to be cold. The first-grader at Horizon Science Academy stayed after school Tuesday for a yoga class.

When her family wasn't there to pick her up, Rodney said, she told school officials someone would be coming.

But after an hour waiting in the lobby, Rodney decided to walk outside.

"My hands was freezing and I was freezing a lot," she said.

Elvenia Reynolds, Rodney's mother, said she knows she made a big mistake; she didn't realize the yoga class would continue after winter break and thought her daughter had gotten onto the bus and gone to day care, like normal.

But Reynolds also said she feels the school didn't do enough to help her young daughter.

"They're supposed to wait until parents come or try to call us to see what was going on," Reynolds said. "They didn't do any of that."

Ergun Sevilmis, principal of Horizon Science Academy, said Rodney was told to wait in the lobby. He also said he and other staff checked on her, though they didn't wait with her the whole time.

"I asked, 'Did you call your parents?' She said, 'Yes, she is coming.' I said, 'Outside is cold. Why are you waiting here? Go back to building,'" Sevilmis said.

He said he reviewed video footage which shows, after he watched Rodney go back into the lobby, she left again a minute later to sit by the school's gate. The video shows Rodney waited there for less than two minutes before being picked up.

But Rodney's family still worries that something bad could have happened to the child.

Sevilmis said he talked with Horizon employees about the situation Wednesday.

"I already informed the staff they are going to make sure they are contacting the parents before they leave from the building," Sevilmis said.