A Fairfax County father is upset after his 6-year-old son was able to wander more than a mile away from his elementary school this week before someone spotted the child and called 911.
The boy is a kindergartner at London Towne Elementary School in Centreville, Virginia.
Rich Probst said his son, Christian, told him he got permission to use the bathroom at school on Tuesday and when he returned to class the other children and his teacher were gone. They had apparently left for recess.
The little boy then went out the school's back door and started walking down Stone Road. A good Samaritan eventually spotted him and called 911.
Police picked up the child and took him home about the time the school realized he was missing.
"Worst case - we wouldn't have Christian here today," Probst told News4.
Probst called Child Protective Services and school administrators and said he was upset the school didn't immediately notify other parents about the incident.
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A letter was sent to parents on Thursday afternoon stating the school has revised its recess supervision policy since the incident.
London Towne Elementary School Principal Sigrid Ryberg wrote the following in the letter to parents:
"As you may know, one of our students walked away from the school grounds Tuesday as the student's class was transitioning from the classroom to recess. The student's teacher notified my office after taking attendance and realized one student was missing. As staff was looking for the child and preparing to call police, the police contacted the school stating they found the student. The student had been taken home by police and, fortunately, the student was unharmed. This incident is currently under investigation. I also want to assure you that we have revised our recess supervision protocols and procedures to ensure that all students are safe and accounted for during outdoor activities. We are committed to providing a safe environment for all students. The Fairfax County Police Department and the FCPS Office of Safety and Security are our partners in helping us protect your children. Please remind your son or daughter not to leave school grounds during the school day and the potential risks and dangers associated with doing so."