CROWLEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Thirty minutes.
That’s how long one Burleson mother said it took staff at Crowley ISD’s Bess Race Elementary School to notice her 2nd grader had walked off campus.
The school district has a different story.
A representative for the district said after the student went off the campus, a staff member had eyes on her the entire time. The student’s parents say if this is the case, why didn’t they stop her?
“It’s your job to keep our children safe at school,” Kathleen Blodgett said. “We should be able to trust you.“
“I don’t trust my school when they did that, boy I was so scared,” said the 8-year-old student, Claire.
Claire said after a boy stepped on her at recess, she couldn’t keep up with the other kids as they headed back inside the school.
She said when she got to the door it was locked, so she started walking to show her mother her hurt ankle. Her mother says she almost made it to her house about a mile away.
“I’m livid,” Blodgett said. “I mean I’m not a yeller, screamer, I’m just, I can’t believe this.”
“Her father calls me and tells me what’s going on and I completely lost it,” Claire’s stepmother Kayla Edgemon said. “Somebody could’ve snatched her up. She could’ve got hurt. We could’ve never seen her again.”
Claire’s stepmother shared her concerns on Facebook live.
A spokesperson for Crowley ISD said a district employee saw the student walking off the playground and watched her the entire time from their car.
Crowley ISD provided CBS 11 the following statement on the matter:
Today at Bess Race Elementary School, a student ran off campus during recess.
Because this situation involves a student at school, the Family Educational Rights and Protection Act (FERPA) prevents the district from sharing specific details about the incident.
Most importantly, the student was brought back safely thanks to a Crowley ISD employee who saw the student running away from campus. That employee was able to drive behind the student while notifying the campus principal of the student’s location by phone. Thanks to the employee’s quick action, the principal was able to reach the student, return her safely to school and notify the student’s mother about the incident. Unfortunately, some of the information shared on social media by one of the student’s guardians was inaccurate, but FERPA prevents the district from addressing those inaccuracies.
We understand this incident is upsetting for the family of the student who ran off campus, but we are proud of our employees for responding quickly to this situation and for their dedication to protecting this student and every student in Crowley ISD.
“Why would you let her walk that far not be afraid of something happening to her?” Edgemon said.
“I fell on the road really bad & it hurt my knee right here (shows scrape) so I kept running,” Claire said.
The student’s parents don’t know if they’ll be sending her back to school Tuesday.
They’re exploring their options.
They’re now pushing for safety improvements and would like to see a gate built around the entire playground.