Second grader leaves school with stranger

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Friday, March 4, 2016

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT)--

Second grade Hephzibah Elementary School student Jayden Babb left school with someone she doesn't know.
It's sparking concerns about how easy it is for the wrong person to take your child home with them.

"It could have been a lot worse. We could have never found her," said Jessica Burkhalter, Jayden Babb's mother.

The seven year old normally rides a bus home from school, but on Wednesday she and her friend decided to arrange a play-date.

"He asked me if I wanted to come with him at P.E. because that's the only time that we could talk to each other. I said yes," Jayden said.

A Richmond County spokesman says normally, if a student wants to go home with another family they need a note from their parents.
The office would then call them to confirm, but Jayden's parents say that's not what happened.

"She had no permission, no anything," Jessica said. "She just ultimately got in a random person's car."

"She tried to stop the principal and tell the principal this wasn't her kid, the kid was in the wrong car, but there were a lot of people behind her in line, so the principal told her she's got to move, get out the way," said Joshua Babb, Jayden's father.

"Ultimately it ended up being somebody my sister knew. However, we never met the people, Jayden's never met the people," Jessica said.

Although things turned out fine, Jessica said it could have been much worse.

"Luckily we just happened to know someone who knew them, but if it wasn't them we would never have known," Jessia said. "We would've never been contacted or anything."

Now they want to know how this happened.

"How did she end up getting in the car when she's a bus rider. The buses are completely separated from the cars," Jessica said. "What if it was a predator? What if was someone stalking and trying to kidnap my child?"

Jessica and Joshua said they are meeting with the principal on Monday.

The Richmond County spokesman says they have investigated what happened, so now it's a personnel matter.