Hollee Puryear said she immediately began to cry when her husband called her earlier this week.
The Puryears’ 5-year-old daughter, Reese, and another Bellevue Public Schools student had been accidentally left behind on a class trip to the Omaha Children’s Museum, at 500 S. 20th St.
Puryear said she’s “thankful it wasn’t worse, but I haven’t been sleeping well thinking about all the possibilities of what could have happened to my daughter.”
Around 1:40 p.m. Monday, Puryear’s husband, Justin, received a call from Bellevue Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Robert Moore. Puryear said Moore told her husband that Reese and a male classmate were OK but that they had been left at the museum after a trip with Bellevue’s “Kids’ Time” before-and-after-school program.
Puryear said the school had two adults in charge of 12 children on the trip and that Moore said the adults failed to do a head count before leaving the museum.
The museum’s executive director, Lindy Hoyer, said Friday that the museum follows a standard protocol in such scenarios.
Museum staff are supposed to contact someone who set up the group visit and then call a general number for the visiting organization.
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The museum called both numbers on file for the Bellevue visitors, Hoyer said, but it wasn’t until a staffer saw a phone number on the back of Reese’s shirt that they reached someone from the district.
Puryear said that in a phone call, Bellevue Superintendent Jeff Rippe said the district took responsibility for the mistake.
The Puryears have enrolled their daughter at another school for the fall.
“I don’t want this ever to happen to somebody,” Puryear said.
Amanda Oliver, a district spokeswoman, said district officials are working with the two families, but she said she couldn’t provide further comment.