When a Minnesota mom sent her son to school one day, she didn’t think it would end in so many uncomfortable questions and confusion. But when she went to pick him up, she was given horrific news about a sickening mistake the school made. Unfortunately, it was already too late.
Little 5-year-old Avante Washington was in the middle of his kindergarten class at Frost Lake Elementary when authorities stormed in and ripped him from his desk. He was placed in a car and driven around for about 45 minutes, all while being interrogated about his parents. The terrified boy gave all the right answers, which were wrong in the eyes of Child Protective Services. They assumed he was lying until they stormed another campus and picked up a second child.
The second, older boy climbed into the car when he saw Avante sitting there, and he was confused about who this strange boy was. He knew that his own parents had been investigated by the caseworkers who picked him up, but the boy in the car was not the person whom protective services thought he was. The child asked who this Avante was, which was when authorities realized what they had done, and the school is partly to blame.
According to KMSP, Ramsey County Child Protective Services was supposed to pick up another child by the name of Avante, but the St. Paul Public School apparently gave them the first kid on the list with the same name, failing to cross-check who they were sending away with all of his things. The wrong Avante was so traumatized by the ordeal that his mother, Rebecca Williams, who is responsible and not under investigation, said the damage was already done because of what she’s dealing with from her child in the aftermath of the ridiculous ordeal.
No amount of apology could make up for the horrific things this innocent child was told and asked about, which he had no prior knowledge of or part in. Williams said she’s been bombarded with questions from her kindergartener about his classmate, all for something the school is excusing as “human error.” But what protective services did after the incident made it even worse.
“I don’t wish anything bad on anybody I guess, but they need to understand what they are doing and what damage they cause to other people’s lives,” Williams said. “My son was in a vehicle driving around in a place where I didn’t know where he was…”
In typical CPS style, they deny any wrongdoing, making no excuses for pulling the wrong child from school because they’re claiming it never happened, even after the school has come clean about the details. According to Fox’s news report, CPS “declined to acknowledge the case existed or a mistake had been made.”
This incident is proof of another level in which this seemingly unregulated system is completely defunct and mostly ineffective when it matters. When individuals plead and beg with the service to investigate a bad situation, all too often they refuse to do it, siding with the dysfunctional adults until something tragic happens. Now, when they do act, they get it wrong and put another child at risk, when it’s their only job to protect them.