(KANSAS) - Acting on a tip from an observant parking lot attendant, authorities have located over 150,000 school-aged children who, apparently, were left behind.
"We will find out who is responsible for ditching these poor ignorant kids, and make sure it never happens again," said Education Secretary Rod Paige, in a rare public statement.
Paige, who until today had not been seen since assuming his post in 2001, said he suspected the crime to be the work of a "small number of substitute teachers" acting without the approval of superiors.
The mostly black and Hispanic students were found at a Walmart near Topeka late Thursday afternoon. According to police, most of the students had been employed by the nation's largest retailer for what may have been years.
Roy Williams, the parking lot attendant who made the discovery, said it was just lucky that he noticed the children at all. "They looked young and I could tell they were uneducated. In other words, they seemed like typical Walmart employees."