A Claremore father and his girlfriend take care of two young girls and they are upset with the girls’ school for failing to make sure the girlfriend was a “safe” person for the girls to go home with after school.
On Wednesday, Jason Stiles was feeling sick and so was his youngest daughter, 5-year-old Jaden. His older daughter, 7-year-old Destiny, needed to be picked up from Claremont Elementary school. Stiles' girlfriend, Theresa Crow, is as close as a mother to the girls. Stiles and Crow have been dating for two years.
Crow went to pick up Destiny after school at 3:00 p.m. She has never picked the girls up without Jason with her. Jason is listed on the school’s “after school pick-up” list as a legal guardian to go home with, Crow is not. But Crow went anyway, knowing Jason was too sick to go.
She drove up in her green minivan wrote “Stiles” on a white envelope for the administrators who were standing with dozens of children outside. The administrators saw the sign “Stiles” and sent Destiny to the car. That’s when Theresa realized no one questioned her.
“I wrote the last name down on an envelope and held it up and they looked at it and were like, oh the Stiles girls, and pointed her to my vehicle. I am like really?” explained Crow. “And my daughter goes, ‘Did Daddy put you on the list to pick me up?’”
Crow was surprised that her 7-year-old knew she needed to be IDd.
“There is not enough security,” said Crow. “With everything that has happened here lately at Sandy Hook--I just don’t want that to happen here.”
The next day Stiles and Crow walked into the office at the girls’ elementary school to put Crow’s name on the list and ran into the same problem.
“We walked in together and I said ‘I need to add my girlfriend to my daughters’ pick-up list,’” said Stiles. “They asked what is the kids’ last name, I said Stiles, they pull it up, oh Destiny and Jaden, yeah, well what’s her (Crow’s) name. Teresa handed the woman her driver’s license, she wrote down the info, and that was it. They never asked who I was or for my ID--nothing.”
FOX23 talked with the superintendent, Michael McClaren. McClaren has been working for Claremore Public Schools for 13 years. He assures the school has a policy of identifying anyone the administrators do not recognize.
“I know this is an assumption, but I trust the teachers or administrators who were out here recognized Theresa from maybe other visits with the girls’ father to pick them up, and that is why they saw her and sent the daughter home with her,” said McClaren.
McClaren insists the students’ safety is a number one priority at every Claremore school . They have even held children back from going home with people or vehicles the administrators did not recognize.
What about when the father and Teresa went inside and put Teresa’s name on the pick up list?” asked FOX23 News to Superintendent McClaren. “Why did the receptionist inside did not ask who he was?”
“They must have recognized him as the Stiles girls’ father,” said McClaren. “We ID only when we do not recognize someone. We even have a picture ID system where we can take your ID and scan it and find out who you are immediately and we use that on a daily basis.”
While Stiles and Crow still feel safe allowing their girls to attend Claremont Elementary School, they would feel better if everyone, including all friendly faces, were ID'd whenever they enter the school or whenever they pick up their child. They would be the first to just pull their IDs out of their wallets and show them right away.