McAllen family questions school safety after kindergarteners leave campus unsupervised

2 months 4 days 12 hours ago Sunday, October 03 2021 Oct 3, 2021 October 03, 2021 1:33 PM October 03, 2021 in News - Local

A McAllen family is searching for answers after their 5-year-old kindergartener, and two other students went missing for hours on their elementary school's watch.

On Sept. 20, Gavin Flores showed up at Ben Milam Elementary School to pick up his little girl like usual, but he never imagined she was nowhere on campus. 

That's when the panic set in. 

"As a father, your job is to protect your kids and your family," Flores said. "And you release that responsibility to the school staff when you drop them off." 

According to Flores, school staff informed him and two other parents that their children were missing and police were now looking for them. 

Though the students were found safe near a music store half a mile away from the school, Flores says he felt helpless during the search.

"The fact that my kid was out walking on the streets for over an hour, unattended— the amount of dereliction of duty that the school had to conduct for that to happen," he said. "There's a thousand things that could've gone wrong."

Now, nearly two weeks later, the family says they're still worried about their children's safety and hope the terrifying situation doesn't happen to anybody else.  

In a statement, the McAllen Independent School District confirmed three students "accidentally left the school with older children who walk home" instead of being placed among the pavilion walkers where adults are around.  

Read the district's complete statement here. 

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