NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - A Norfolk mother is upset after learning her 3-year-old son wandered away from school, unsupervised.
She says the boy walked a mile before someone noticed him not too far from his former home. Brandy Jones, the child's mother, wants the school to make sure this doesn't happen to other children.
Jones says she didn't hear from anyone at Oceanair Elementary School until her son, Joshua, was already returned to the school by a former neighbor.
Like most young boys, Jones' son Joshua is full of energy. But Jones says that does not explain how he got away from school Thursday morning.
"I was running fast on the sidewalk of the street and there was car," Joshua said Friday.
Joshua ran for a mile, all the way to the Mariner's Way apartment his family just moved out of. A neighbor found him outside the door, asking for his mother. Another neighbor called Jones.
"She asked me did I know what happened to my child. And I said, 'No.' She said, 'The school hasn't called you yet?' I said, 'No. What happened?'" said Jones.
The neighbor brought Joshua back to Oceanair Elementary. But, Jones says, it wasn't until he was back at the school that she got a call from the assistant principal.
"That's the part that bothers me," Jones said. "When a student goes missing, the first two things that needs to happen is proper authorities need to be contacted and the parents need to be contacted."
Jones learned 3-year-old Joshua received permission to go to the bathroom, alone. But instead, he left the building. And for his mother, the thought of what could have happened hurts the most.
"He wouldn't have any chance," she said, fighting back tears. "No fight to put up against an adult, if he would have been snatched. He could have been hit by a car. He could have fell and slipped and hurt himself, and no one would have known."
The good news is Joshua is safe and sound. His parents are not sure when he will be back at school, or if he will return to Oceanair Elementary.
Joshua's mother says the principal assured her Pre-K students will not walk the hallways alone in the future.
WAVY.com contacted a spokesperson for the school system late Friday afternoon. Because of the timing, the spokesperson promised to look into it and send a response, as soon as the spokesperson hears back from the school.
There are security cameras at the school, but it's not clear if they caught Joshua leaving.
Jones filed a police report outlining the incident Thursday.
Earlier this month, a 10-year-old girl was nearly abducted , while walking home from the same school.
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