2 young boys walk away from kindergarten
PHILADELPHIA - October 17, 2012 (WPVI) -- Philadelphia authorities are trying to find out how two young children were allowed to wander away from their school Wednesday.
What would you do if you found out your 5 or 6-year-old was not at school where he supposed to be, but instead was wondering around on a train in the SEPTA Broad Street Subway?
That's what the parents of the two young boys wanted to know.
"I asked the teacher, 'What happened to my son?' And she said, 'Well, he got up and walked right out of my class and I haven't seen him since," said Kishia Smith.
Kishia Smith stood with her 5 year old son, Ameen as she recalled the horror she went through earlier Wednesday.
It was around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday morning when she learned Ameen and 6-year-old Zavier McIntyre had left their class at Stanton Elementary at 16th and West Cumberland, and were reported missing.
The drama unfolded when Zavier's mom got a call from a neighbor that she saw him and another little boy running around on the streets. She called the school right away.
"They told me my son was in school, in class and he was fine," said Masheedah Thomas.
The school and neighbors quickly put flyers together with pictures of the missing boys and distributed around the area.
The boys were missing for more than two hours before a Philadelphia Police officer found them on a train on the SEPTA Broad Street Line near the Allegheny stop.
"I was terrified!" said Smith. "Just thinking of him out here running around, you know, with all the stuff that goes on, and then to find out they are on a train. How did they get on the train?"
Zavier says he was frightened after Ameen almost got run over by a car.
"I was scared of Ameen, that he was about to get run over," he said.
The school district says under normal circumstances, a staff member or school police officer would be guarding the door, but due to budget cuts, they've had to rely on parent volunteers.
"There is an adult usually at the front door at a desk. It is a volunteer parent, and unfortunately at that time, at that moment, the volunteer parent had stepped out," said Fernando Gallard.
"It's frustrating, because I'm at work trying to provide for my family and stuff like that, knowing that any child can just get missing," said Zavier's father William McIntyre.
As it turns out, this was not the first time Zavier McIntyer had managed to make his way out of the school.
His mother says he suffers from behavior and emotional problems. He is supposed to have an assistant watching him, but that person was not there.
The school district is promising an investigation.
missing children, philadelphia school district, philadelphia, local/state, dann cuellar
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