View Larger Map

A mother in Bridgewater is angry that her eight-year-old son was left behind during an after-school outing.

Austin McCarthy was supposed to take part in a fun run with other students at Bridgewater Elementary School. But as everyone gathered in the schoolyard, he got confused and didn't know which group to join.

Austin found himself alone after 200 students in grades 2 to 6 marched away.

"I saw a couple of kids leave and one teacher told me I wasn't supposed to be there. And then I left over to the playground, and mom and dad never came," he said Tuesday.

Since the school was closed, Austin waited at the playground. He headed home about an hour later.

"First I started walking towards my house, but then I stopped and came back, and then I went home," he said.

Alishia McCarthy says it's lucky her son made it home safely.

"The potential there was kidnapped, killed, molested or hit by a car. Luckily he's smart enough to know how to get home himself. Luckily we live four blocks from the school. What if it were a child that lived on the other side of town?

"The 'I'm sorry but,' isn't going to cut it."

McCarthy says people need to know these mixups can happen.

"Parents [should] understand that leaving their kid after school does not mean their kid is going to be taken care of," she said. 

The incident happened two weeks ago.

A spokesperson for the South Shore Regional School Board says the board is working with the school to improve its roll-call procedures so that students are accounted for at all times.