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Child, 4, no longer eligible for Kindergarten: 'They kicked me out'

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL) -

A Washington County parent says the school district made a big mistake.

Abigail Byrd started school last week, just like everyone else. Her parents registered her for kindergarten in July. Friday the four-year-old is not going to school and is back at home with parent's. Why? Because she will not turn five until September 30.

Lauren Haviland asked Abigail, "Did you used to go to school?"

She said, "mhmm."

Haviland asked her, "what happened?"

Abigail responded,"they kicked me out."

Abigail Byrd, 4, said she loved going to school and attended Boones Creek Elementary since the start of the new school year.

"No issues," said Mark Byrd, Abigail's father. "Loved the teacher, getting along with the other children, coming home having all kinds of great stories."

But then Thursday her father, got a call from the Boones Creek Elementary principal saying, "Abigail was no longer eligible for kindergarten, because her birthday fell after their new date they had set."

The call was a big surprise for Mark and his wife. Mark tells News Channel 11, "went through the registration process. The lady who registered us we asked her specifically what the cut off date was. We told her when Abby's birthday was, there was no issue. Going to school for two weeks, no problem."

The problem? Abigail will turn five on September 30. According to the Tennessee Department of Education, the law changed for the 2013-2014 school year. It now says a child entering kindergarten must be five years old on or before August 31.

"A lack of knowledge on the part of whoever was supposed to be in charge of this registration process," said Mark.

Now, Abigail has to wait another school year before going to kindergarten.

"They gave me absolutely no options on this, except for to put her on the bottom of the list for the Pre-K program," said Mark.

Abigail wishes she could go back and says her favorite class was art.

Both the Boones Creek Elementary School principal and the Director of Schools Ron Dykes told Lauren they would not discuss this story today.

We checked state code and found if the director of schools feels through evaluation and testing, at the request of the parents, that a child who is five on our before September 30 is emotionally and academically mature, then that child can enter kindergarten.

Copyright 2013 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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