The Houston Independent School District (HISD) said it is investigating how a 4-year-old girl managed to make it off the Law Elementary School campus in Houston, Texas, and walk all the way back home, in the middle of a school day, unnoticed.
Alyssa White, 4, surprised her family Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 10, by showing up at home while the school day still had a few hours left, ABC13 reported.
Her mother, Ashley Palms, said neither the teacher nor administrators knew White was missing until she drove her back to the school.
“I realized my daughter had walked out of the school and no one even knew she was missing,” Palms said. “It just could have (gone) so wrong.”
After viewing the school’s surveillance video and speaking with White, Palms was able to piece together what happened.
White said she got left behind when her class was on a trip to the bathroom. She said she couldn’t find her way back to class, so she left from the school’s front gate and took the 10-minute walk alone.
“You could see in the video how scared she was,” Palms said. “She sat down and kind of started hugging her own legs and looking around, and just confused and not knowing what to do.”
HISD send ABC13 the following statement regarding the incident:
“The district is looking into this matter to determine what occurred and how best to ensure the safety of all HISD students. In addition, the campus is reviewing its procedures to ensure that all children are properly supervised, as the safety of our students is always our top priority.”
Palms said the school’s principal was apologetic. She said the pre-school teacher claimed she had been distracted by the other children did not notice White was missing, according to KHOU11.
Palms hoped this is a lesson learned for the school and said she’s thankful it didn’t end up much worse.
“She could have been kidnapped, abducted anything could have happened,” Palms said.