Mom: HISD let young son leave school alone

December 3, 2010 4:05:00 AM PST
A mom is raising a lot of questions and is creating policy changes at one HISD school after her seven-year-old son walked away from Whidby Elementary School and ended up at the Star of Hope Mission.

There are a lot of questions about what happened and how the second grader ended up a mile and half from school. But what is certain is when the boy's mother came to pick him up from school, he was not there.

On Monday afternoon, Sophia Mouton arrived at Whidby Elementary to pick up her two children.

"I said, 'Where is your brother?' I said, 'Is he with you?' He said, 'No ma'am,'" she said. "Go check the restrooms, nowhere to be found."

Seven-year-old DeShaun was missing.

The boy tells Eyewitness News he was on the sidewalk in front of the school when a bus pulled up.

"She said, 'What are you doing?' I said, 'Looking for my mom.' So the man just pushed me on the bus and the bus driver drove off and the bus driver dropped off me at a gas station called Texaco," DeShaun said.

The second grader says someone else then walked him to the Star of Hope, where they called HISD police.

"How were you feeling when all this was going on?" we asked DeShaun.

"Sad," he replied.

But in that long hour before the mother was reunited with her son, everything went through her head.

"It's for the safety of any child at a school that a stranger could just come on the sidewalk and pull a child away or push a child away, it's terrifying," Sophia said.

The district says after reviewing GPS of bus locations, it does not believe the boy boarded an HISD bus.

Administrators say DeShaun slipped out after he was sent to the school's stage area for a very minor violation of a school rule. They say surveillance shows him on the sidewalk then he disappears out of the frame.

"I got off the stage and just walked out through the front door," DeShaun said.

That has prompted quick change at the school.

"We have revised our dismissal policy," HISD Spokesman Jason Spencer said. "Students will be dismissed from individual classrooms as parents arrive to pick them up rather than a common area."

While the mother is still waiting for more answers on her son's Monday disappearance, for DeShaun, it was back to business on Tuesday.

"What are you gonna go home and do now?" we asked him.

"Do my homework," he responded.

The district says they take this incident very seriously and say they were not aware of the claims involving the bus and the stranger until Thursday.

On Friday, HISD police are meeting with management at the Star of Hope to see if their video cameras provide any more answers.


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