Changes coming to Augusta elementary school after child leaves without permission

By: Janelle Richards Email
By: Janelle Richards Email

News 12 First at Five / Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Changes are coming to an Augusta Elementary school after a mother says her 6-year-old son was able to leave his school without permission.

"He could've been hit by a car. Those roads that he crossed are very busy. So many things could've happened. We're very lucky that he is fine," says Vanessa Moore.

Moore is upset.

"It had me scared. I had no idea how it had happened, how he had gotten there," she said.

Moore walks her 6-year-old son, Logan, to Freedom Park Elementary every day. But one day last month, she says he came home earlier than expected.

"My husband had came home earlier that day. Shortly after he arrived about 3:50, 3:55, Logan was on our front porch trying to come in the front door and he was extremely distraught," Moore said.

Logan was supposed to be at an after-school activity.

"He told us that he had gotten scared because he couldn't find his teacher and wanted to come home," she said.

So that's what he did and Moore says no one at the school even saw him leave.

"He walked home all by himself. He crossed over two major roads during rush hour because a lot of people had been released early that day," Moore said.

Moore was upset and says she went to the school to find out what happened.

"How was that allowed that he was able to walk home by himself? He's only 6," she said.

Freedom Park Elementary School Principal Pauline Andrews apologized, but Moore thinks better security should have been in place.

"As a parent, you kneed to know your child is safe, especially when you're sending them away to the care of other adults," she said.

In a statement released to News 12, the district says the principal and administrators apologized to the Moore family, spoke with the teacher and reviewed camera footage to see how Logan managed to leave, laid out a new plan that would require families to sign out students before leaving campus following after school events and reviewed the plan with the entire staff to ensure a similar incident won't happen again.

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