South Pittsburg kindergartner leaves school without supervision
New details have emerged about how a Marion County kindergartener managed to leave school and wander downtown. It happened Wednesday afternoon at South Pittsburg Elementary School.
School officials said this is the first time something like this happened. They described the child involved as a student who needs behavioral support.
“He wanted to go see his grandfather, to be honest with you. That was his response,” Director of Schools Dr. Mark Griffith said.
It was a scary moment for teachers and staff inside South Pittsburg Elementary School when they saw a student leave campus.
“The administration at South Pittsburg Elementary School contacted me, and said they had a child that ran out of the back door of the classroom,” Dr. Griffith explained.
The boy was able to make it outside, cross traffic on this busy street and make it a block away from the school to his grandfather's apartment complex.
“The teacher alerted the office," Dr. Griffith said. "The principal ran him down, sort of speak, and was after him. Brought him back to South Pittsburg Elementary and contacted the parent.”
He was able to escape the classroom through an emergency door in the back of the room. It wasn't locked from the inside because Dr. Griffith said that is against state standards.
“Fire marshal regulations will not let you lock those doors, so there is nothing you can do about that," Dr. Griffith explained. "They have moved his desk and put precautions in place to make sure it doesn't happen again.”
The Director of Marion County Schools wants to assure parents that this was an isolated incident, and they are working on ways to prevent it from happening again.
“Continue to monitor situations like this, try to improve in areas that we can, move forward, and hope it doesn't happen again,” Dr. Griffith added.