3rd graders walk away from recess, found at McDonald's 1 mile away

HOLLY SPRINGS, NORTH CAROLINA -- Two third-grade students walked away from their elementary school Wednesday afternoon.

Holly Grove Elementary School administrators sent a letter out to parents informing them of what happened.

"Oh my God. That's pretty young," said the father of a Holly Grove student after reading the school's letter. "It's a little bit younger than my son and I wouldn't be comfortable with my son walking or even leaving school at all."

The school said teachers realized the two students were missing when the class lined up to return from recess and the line was two students short.

The school contacted police and the search was on. Police received a call from a concerned parent about two students being at a neighborhood McDonald's, located more than a mile away from the school.

"All of us began breathing again at that point," said Sgt. Tom Brienzi of the Holly Springs Police Department. "Once they maintained custody of those children and confirmed we had exactly who we thought we had, we were all able to take a sigh of relief at that point."

Police arrived and safely returned the students to Holly Grove Elementary School.

"I will be determining appropriate disciplinary action to ensure that the students understand the severity of their actions," the principal said in the letter. "I appreciate the quick response to our staff in reporting the students missing, as well as all staff members involved in the search."

Tibbet was glad nothing bad happened.

"It was a good response from the school and the police department," he said. "And thank God everything worked out well. Nobody got hurt."
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.