NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk mom is outraged after she said her children’s school principal took them out of school and drove them in her personal car.
Last Wednesday Ashley Van Note’s 8-year-old son stole another child’s GPS watch from Ocean View Elementary. She said she stayed in communication with the school and was working on returning it, when the next day, the principal took three of her children out of class and drove them home demanding the watch be returned.
Van Note, a mom of 10, was at a work conference in North Carolina. She answered several phone calls from school staff regarding the watch. One call from the principal left her uneasy.
Van Note says Ocean View Elementary Principal Kirstin New took her 5-year-old, 9-year-old and 10-year-old daughters out of school and drove them in her personal car just over a mile to Van Note’s home.
“She had put them in the car. I don’t think she explained to them where they were going or why they were getting in the car with her,” Van Note told 10 On Your Side.
The girls knew nothing about the watch their brother stole and were scared.
“They felt intimidated,” Van Note said. “I can’t speak to how she spoke to them, but whatever she said or whatever her tone, was intimidating enough that one of my kids had an accident because she was so scared. I was really upset.”
Van Note said New demanded the watch be returned, to which Van Note replied it was in a safe and that she would return it when she got home from work. Ultimately, the watch was returned and Van Note apologized to the child’s parents for her son’s behavior.
Van Note’s husband met with New the following day and was unsettled when New justified her actions—including driving their 5-year-old daughter without a car seat.
“If something had happened to my kids, I would, it would just kill me,” Van Note said.
Van Note reported her concerns to Norfolk Public Schools and filed a police report. She also took out an emergency protective order and has spoken with Child Protective Services.
10 On Your Side reached out to Norfolk Public Schools for comment. We’re waiting to hear back.