Autistic Boy Leaves School Unnoticed
An autistic 7-year-old boy left his elementary school Tuesday afternoon and walked home, alone.
His family thought he was supposed to be cared for at all times.
They are outraged, saying he could have been killed and are demanding answers from the school.
Nancy Heiser says Idylwild Elementary School in Gainesville failed her autistic grandson.
"He could have been taken and for years, us not knowing what happened, he could have been out being sexually molested by the time we found him, if we found him," she said.
Eric Romanski, 7, left school, and walked home by himself.
Instead of walking to his special needs class inside the library, Eric left campus, passing the front office, the playground, and eventually, crossing four lanes of traffic on Williston Road.
Heiser says Eric cannot be left alone and had no idea the school was allowing him to walk un-attended from one class to another.
"I'm not really sure how to correct it, except for the school board is aware- I asked them at the beginning of the year for a paraprofessional, I got a part-time paraprofessional," she said.
There are about 50 special needs students at Idylwild; not all need the same level of care.
The school is investigating the incident, and Principal Dan Ferguson says, it will not happen again.
"If we need more personnel, we need more personnel, but again, we're going to look at the facts, and see what we need, and if we need more, then we need more," he said.
Ferguson says he's meeting with faculty Wednesday morning where they'll go over safety procedures and make sure this never happens again.
The Department of Children and families is involved.
The school may be facing charges for endangering a child.
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