Girl, 5, locked out of elementary school

Safety plans are under review at David Scott Elementary after a kindergarten student got locked out of the school and walked seven blocks to her home with a stranger.

November 28, 2011 2:33:13 PM PST
A five-year-old girl was safe at home Monday afternoon after she says she was locked out of school early in the morning. The girl made her way home, much to the surprise of her mom who called the principal of Scott Elementary demanding answers.

It's a scary situation for any parent. The five-year-old is new to the school and according to the principal she was dropped off early before classes started. As a result, the school's safety plan is now under the microscope.

Veronica Hogarth thought Scott Elementary School was a safe place, until Monday morning.

She said, "I heard somebody banging on the door and crying for help."

To Hogarth's surprise, it was her five-year-old daughter Heavenly. The kindergartner walked home seven blocks after she got locked out of the school.

Hogarth explained, "My daughter asked her to go to the restroom. She said sorry they are all locked; you'll have to hold it. My daughter took it upon herself to go to the restroom. She went out the wrong door, so the doors are not being watched."

To make matters worse, a stranger accompanied the kindergartener home. The woman ran off after the little girl recognized her house.

A neighbor is the only one who saw this woman and right now Heavenly Hogarth isn't saying much about her, so her mother's not sure what her intentions were. But she thinks it's odd the woman didn't even come to the front door.

"She just let her walk, what if this wasn't her house? If you as a parent, and you just take off? Maybe her intentions were bad," Hogarth wondered.

Hogarth called police and the school and says she got angry when school staff members told her they were unaware that her daughter was gone. She walked her daughter back to school and had a long talk with the principal who promised her things would be different.

"They are going to have bathrooms open at that time," Hogarth said. "They are going to have a person standing at the exit doors."

HISD issued the following statement to Eyewitness News:

    "HISD officials are reviewing an incident this morning at Dogan/Scott Elementary School in which a kindergarten student left campus unsupervised. According to the principal, the child's older sister dropped her off between 7:10am and 7:15am. This is 15-20 minutes before the school opens at 7:30am, and 45-50 minutes before instructional day at Dogan/Scott begins at 8am. The child, who is new to the school, wandered off campus and returned to her home. School officials are reviewing their early-morning procedures, and the child's mother has been made aware that students are not to be dropped off before 7:30am."

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