Parents seek answers after kindergartners reportedly placed in jail cell during trip to 'library'

Parents who allowed their children to attend a library field trip are demanding answers after finding that the Chicago kindergarten class reportedly spent part of the outing locked in a jail cell, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The "Parental Approval Form" filled out prior to the field trip stated that the Sunnyside Elementary students would be going to Hillside Public Library and Village Hall to "explore community resources."

But Carmen Ware, mother of 6-year-old Stephen Stovall, told the Sun-Times that she and other parents were not made aware that their children would also see a jail or be locked in a cell at a local police station.

Ware told the newspaper that Stephen mentioned being shown a vest and gun holster before being locked in a cell.

"We were both upset," Flora Ware, Stephen's grandmother who had signed the permission slip, told the Sun-Times. "We are wondering what they are prepping him for? What are they saying to kindergartners? If you don't listen to us, this is where you are going to end up?" she said.

Lisa Wanderer also told the newspaper that her daughter Aliyah was uncomfortable with the visit.

Nancy Tortora, principal of Sunnyside Elementary, did not return's requests for comment.

"What about taking them to the University of Chicago or to Northwestern University? They didn't have the right to take her son to jail without permission. They didn't have the right to put his hand on a holster that a gun was in," Ware told The Sun-Times. "They didn't have the right to let him touch a bullet-proof vest, or show him Tasers," she added.

La Grange Police Chief Michael Holub told the newspaper that field trips to police stations are common.

"What we try to do is lay the groundwork for a positive relationship outside of the traditional police response. It doesn't involve displaying weapons," Holub told the Sun-Times. "And the kids are a bit older, about fifth grade. We don't lock them in cells. Everyone who comes here has a parental slip. We are not conducting rogue tours," he said.

Click to read more from the Chicago Sun-Times.