WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — When a 5th grade student walked out of Tinker Elementary School in Waterbury last month and no one knew where he was for 45 minutes, it set off alarm among some parents.
“If it was my kid, I’d be pissed,” one parent said.
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It also prompted concern from school district officials, who promised to take swift action to try and make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.
That swift action is in the form of eight loud alarms that are being installed on school doors that are triggered when anyone tries to leave the building unexpectedly.
“It no longer exists that someone can walk out without the knowledge of the building staff,” said Robert Brenker, Chief Operating Officer for Waterbury Public Schools.
Brenker says he hopes their actions send a message to parents who still might be alarmed that a student was able to walk out undetected.
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“These children in Waterbury are our responsibility to protect while they’re at the schools and this is the best way we have at this point to make sure that we don’t have that happen again,” Brenker said.
The child who was missing was told to go to the nurse’s office. But, instead, he walked out of the school and ended up walking home, which is about two blocks away. As soon as school officials realized he was missing, they called police. Police did a neighborhood search. The first place they checked out was his home. That’s where they found him safe and alone — he had a key to get in.