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Grade School-Aged Child Walks Away From Campus Unnoticed

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A child walks out of Burleson Elementary School in south Dallas. The same campus that was picketed twice Monday by parents upset with the school’s principal.

According to his mother, Marcus Lerma was a typical 9-year-old kid before his first day of school at Burleson Elementary. He wore a big grin and posed for pictures with his siblings.

But by 9 a.m. the first day of school was essentially over and the fourth-grader was back home.

Elizabeth Lerma remembered how nervous her son had been. “He was already scared ’cause it was a whole new school,” she said.

The Lerma says she heard a knock at door and found her little boy standing outside in tears.

Marcus told his mom he’d gotten confused about which classroom to go to and asked a teacher for help. Lerma said an adult told her son, “Go home, because you don’t know where you belong and I don’t have you on the list.”

After the very upset mother contacted the school office staff told her Marcus probably misunderstood. Still, she doesn’t understand how he made it out. “There’s three people here and nobody noticed that he left.”

The North Texas mother isn’t the only one complaining about Burleson Elementary. Dozens of parents gathered in protest Monday and more than 200 have signed a petition calling for the ouster of Principal Yolanda Knight.

The student body at Burleson Elementary is 67-percent Hispanic, but parents say few members of the staff are bilingual and there’s a general lack of sensitivity when dealing with children and adults.

Lerma said her son was so distraught when she dropped him off at school that she wanted to walk him to class. Her request was denied. “I wanted to make sure he got to his classroom, but she wouldn’t let me go back.”

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