Parents Say School Allowed 2 Children With Autism To Wander Away

(CBS) — In Rogers Park, A 6-year-old girl with autism wanders away from her elementary school.

She’s back with her parents, who are furious about a lack of supervision.

CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports on an incident Chicago Public Schools calls “unacceptable.”

Melissa and Fulgencio Sanchez say they’re pulling their twin girls out of New Field Elementary after one of them walked right off school grounds Wednesday.

 

Sophia, 6, wandered around the corner and a block and half down busy Clark Street all by herself.

“It’s the worst fear of parents that your kids be lost, but then on top of that your kid can’t communicate, she can explain herself, so anything could happen,” Fulgencio Sanchez says.

A school employee found the first-grader holding hands with two strangers.

“CPS is reviewing this matter to determine how this unacceptable situation occurred. We are working with the school to help ensure that procedures are in place to prevent this from happening again, and we are grateful for the good samaritans who assisted the student,” Chicago Public Schools said in a prepared statement.

But another mom, Letia Motley, says the same thing happened to her 6-year-old son Brent, who also has autism.

“My son wandered away from the classroom at dismissal time and luckily I found him outside of the school gate,” she says.

But parent Deanne Straughn defended the school, saying, “I’m sure it was just a horrible accident.”

CBS 2 received no response from the principal of New Field Elementary, who is leaving for a position in Bensenville soon. CPS says appropriate disciplinary action will be taken, if needed.

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