Mother Says Prince George's County Head Start Gave No Apology After Son Wandered From School

"There was no apology. There was no... there was just no answers."

One mother in Prince George's County, Maryland, experienced what is probably a parent's worst nightmare last fall when her 4-year-old son managed to wander from school and walk to a busy road. But it was what happened after her son was found safe that shocked her.

"There was no apology. There was no... there was just no answers," Davis said.

Chamanikia Davis said the Head Start program at Overlook Elementary in Temple Hills had no explanation and did not apologize after her son wandered away from the playground in September 2015 -- nearly reaching a Metro stop.

The boy was found standing near the edge of the road on Branch Avenue, Davis said.

"It was a little numbing that he would have been able to leave school - period," Davis said. "It should have been somebody watching him. Just really numbing and you don't know what to think. You don't know what happened."

Davis said she sent a letter to Prince George's County Public Schools after the incident.

"I did make a complaint. I did write a letter. I did notate the incident in the letter so someone knew," Davis said.

The incident happened during the same time the federal government was investigating other allegations of abuse and neglect at Prince George's County's Head Start classrooms.

A report of the investigation detailed another incident in which a 5-year-old managed to make it all the way home after wandering from school.

However, there is no mention of Davis' son in the report.

Davis said she questions whether school officials properly reported the incident.

The county's Head Start program lost a $6.5 million federal grant after the investigation by the Administration for Children and Families.

According to the review, the alleged abuse included a 3-year-old boy who was mocked and forced to clean up his own urine and teachers forcing two children to hold objects over their head for an extended period of time as a punishment for their behavior.

Parents had their first chance to address school officials about the investigation during a school board meeting Thursday night.

"You broke the law," one woman at the meeting told the board.

Some accused the board of criminal wrongdoing for allegedly failing to report cases of neglect and mistreatment in the county's federally funded Head Start program.

At the meeting, the school board announced it voted to relinquish the federal grant, but the county would continue to provide services to the approximately 900 students who depend on the Head Start program. School officials have not said how the county will continue to fund the program.

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