Mom: Staff leave 7-year-old outside alone at Rochester Prep 


ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A Rochester mom is speaking out after she says her seven-year-old was left outside alone at the end of the school day. Amaya Smith is a single mom and a hairdresser, who drops off and picks up her son Liam every day. 

Because of her work hours, she has an arrangement with the school to either pick Liam up herself by 4 p.m. or have a family member come get him. Most days, she says the director of operations personally sits with her son until someone arrives.

“Usually […] he sits with my son all the time,” Smith said. “He sits with my child all the time. He calls my phone, he says, ‘It’s okay […] I know you workin’.”

Wednesday, she says Liam called his grandmother from his cell phone. After some back-and-forth, Amaya told Liam she’d pick him up at around 4:30 p.m. when she was finished with a client. When she tried to call the school at 3:30 to communicate this, she says nobody answered. 

She says as she was on the way there, her son called her, complaining he was cold. 

“He said, ‘No mom I’m cold, like come on, like hurry up and get me now,’” she said. “I said, ‘I know you’re not standing outside.’ I said, ‘There’s no way you’re standing outside.’”

When Smith got there around 4:30 p.m. she took this photo.

“He’s standing outside cold, jacket half-way unzipped, nose running, damn near crying,” she said. “I’m like ‘Liam, what is going on?’ He’s like, ‘Mom I looked around the school I didn’t see nobody so I just walked out the door.’”

When Smith got to the school Thursday morning to confront staff, she says they immediately knew why she was there. She said that Rochester Prep leadership apologized and told her there would be an investigation.

“This may be small to other people, cause he okay,” Smith said. “But this is really big to me. Because there’s a lot that could have went on out there. […] My baby asks everyday to go across the street to that store. Everyday, he asks me ‘Mom, can we go to the store, can we go to the store?’ What if he was not thinking and he walked across the street and tried to go to that store and got hit by a car?! What would the school have told me?”

News10NBC reached out to Rochester Prep, and they provide the following statement:

We are in contact with the student’s family and are currently investigating the incident. Student safety is our highest priority, including ensuring our protocols and procedures to support student safety are properly and effectively followed.

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