Meriden mom outraged after child goes missing at school - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Meriden mom outraged after child goes missing at school

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MERIDEN, CT (WFSB) -

A Meriden mother said she's outrage after her little girl walked away from school Thursday, and didn't actually find out from the school, but rather from the child herself.

Heather Lawrence said her heart started to race when she got a phone call from a phone number she didn't know. On the other end – her daughter.

It turns out the first grader at Israel Putnam School and her classmate left during lunch by walking out a door and down Parker Avenue.

"They didn't call me, they didn't call her father, they didn't call police," she said. "Nobody."

Lawrence said her downstairs neighbor saw the two little girls walking down the street, and he's the one who called police and the school.

Now Lawrence wants to know why the school didn't alert her as soon as they knew the girls were missing. She adds her daughter Harley knows she should have never left school, but is frustrated by the lack of communication.

"That's a place where my daughter is safe for 11 or 12 years," Lawrence said. "Six years old and she just walks out. It bothers me."

Superintendent Mark Benigni said the school followed procedure and was concerned about what took place.

"We are certainly concerned about what occurred yesterday," Benigni said in a statement to Channel 3 Eyewitness News. "The school followed proper procedures. They searched the school facility, searched the building perimeter, called the police and sent someone to the home. The next call was going to be to the father and mother, but the child was located at the mother's home before those calls were initiated."

It's about four-10ths of a mile from the school to the home in a straight shot, but the girl had to cross a number of streets. And Lawrence said she thinks her daughter knew where she was going since she started walking home with her grandmother a few days a week.

"She is to blame," Lawrence said. "But don't tell me you handled it properly. Yes, you searched the school and had people on the streets, but the second you realized my daughter is not in that school, they should have called police. Who knows what could have happened."

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