Gone from class in a flash

Substitute errors tied to the disappearance of students


Logan Flake

Captured here is sophomore Mary Gone’s brief interaction with English teacher Lewis Carroll the day she vanished. “I felt like John Travolta in that one scene in “Pulp Fiction” standing in that hallway,” Carroll said.

Emma Sprague, Reporter


Walking into her second period class on a normal Tuesday, sophomore Mary Gone explained to sophomore Judy Went that she has never missed a day of school. However, the day before, a substitute “had the audacity” to count her absent all because someone else had sat in her assigned seat. After the input error took place, Gone’s life would never be the same.

“Some random guy was sitting in her assigned seat in English class,” Went said. “She’s never ever missed a day of school in her life, and the one time she did get counted absent was no different because she was in class like always.”

Went explained that, a few days after the misunderstanding took place, Gone started to have a funny feeling in her stomach. According to Went, Gone had always felt invisible to those around her. But, suddenly, the feelings had been maximized. Went had noticed that the mutual acquaintances that once gave the usual head nod to Gone suddenly stopped, but she did not think anything of it.

“On top of all that, her skin started to clear up,” Went said. “It was like it was almost…too clear. I knew something was up. That’s when I texted her and told her to talk to her English teacher, since that was the class she was marked absent in. I just knew that something was not right.”

English teacher Lewis Carroll said that Gone had came to him and voiced her concerns about the weird feelings she had been experiencing. He explained that after commenting on how clearly her most recent essay was written, she took off down the hall. When Carroll tried to run out of the room to track her down, she was nowhere to be found.

“I definitely would’ve gone back into the gradebook and fixed the mistake that was made when the substitute teacher was here, but it’s too late now,” Carroll said. “I just can’t seem to see Gone at all throughout the day. I wish she would’ve come forward and been completely transparent with an adult so the problem could have been fixed.”

Gone wasn’t the only student affected by the misunderstanding that led to her disappearance. Many other substitutes that did not notice that the seating chart was “messed up” in the classrooms they were in have counted other students absent, according to Went. This has caused some controversy in Student Services because of the amount of input error that has taken place. A multitude of parents have also come forward and mentioned how their children have gone missing. One parent in particular, Duhwey Jones, says that kids need to stand up for themselves and make sure they sit in their assigned seats no matter what.

“If someone is sitting in your assigned seat, don’t just let it happen,” Jones said. “Say that it’s your seat. Nothing is going to change if there isn’t a call to action, so here it is. Hopefully this prevents further disappearances.”