A Houston, Texas family was very surprised when their 4-year-old daughter showed up at home when she supposed to be in school for a few more hours.
As 4-year-old Alyssa White’s mom, Ashley Palms, explained to KHOU11, Alyssa usually makes the walk home from school with her older brother and a few other neighborhood kids.
But this time it was just Alyssa knocking on their door with no one else around.
According to KTRK, when Palms asked her little girl why she was home, Alyssa explained that she got left behind while she and her peers made a trip to the bathroom.
Alyssa continued telling her mom that she couldn’t find her way back to her classroom, so she exited the front gate of Law Elementary school and, all by herself, walked 10 minutes home.
After learning that her daughter allegedly escaped from her school without anyone realizing it, Palms took her daughter back. She told KTRK that she was “outraged” over the fact that the school let this happen.
Surveillance cameras from inside the institution captured the moment Alyssa decided to walk out of the school. Palms explained to KHOU what she saw when watching the footage:
“(The kids in the class) went to the bathroom, and when they came out of the bathroom, everybody was gone out of the hallway. And (Alyssa) didn’t know where to go, didn’t know how to get back to the classroom, didn’t see anybody. She sat down on the ground and hugged her knees for a few minutes, then she got up and started pushing the doors and walked right out of the school.”
She told KTRK, “you could see in the video how scared she was.”
Palms said the principal learned Alyssa escaped shortly after her mother brought her back. The principal told Palms that a person had seen the 4-year-old walking alone and notified the front office.
The mom told KTRK:
“The moment the bystander outside noticed my daughter was walking down the street and she alerted the school, I feel like they should have been put on lockdown somehow.”
“She could have been kidnapped, abducted anything could have happened.”
Since then, HISD has issued a statement claiming that they are looking into “how best to ensure the safety of all HISD student.” Law Elementary is also “reviewing its procedures to ensure that all children are properly supervised.”
The mom told KHOU 11 that the principal of her daughter’s school was “apologetic” and her daughter’s pre-school teacher admitted to being distracted by the other children and didn’t realize Alyssa was missing.
Palms said she hopes the school and her daughter’s teacher does learn a lesson from this event.