A Long Island mother says she's still shaken after discovering her 8-year-old daughter fled school Wednesday afternoon and no one contacted her to let her know about the disappearance.
"She could've been killed, she could've been abducted," said Corinne Michael of Massapequa. "A million different things could have happened to her, and I wouldn't even know."
Michael said her daughter Donna and another student ran away from Unqua Elementary School after getting in trouble for fighting. A staff member saw them leave and stopped one of them, but Donna ran off.
School officials said they immediately called police, and Nassau County Police confirm they received a report of the missing child at 1 p.m. But Corinne Michael claims her own phone never rang.
"They never called me to tell me she was missing," said Michael. "They failed to notify me and I think they failed to notify police in a proper, timely manner."
It turned out Donna was making the nearly 2-mile walk back home, even crossing busy Merrick Road. Her mother said it was a dangerous situation because Donna has ADHD and other behavioral disorders.
"I don't let her go around the corner by herself. She can't be left to her own devices," said Michael. "A lot can happen to an 8-year old in a half an hour, crossing Merrick Road."
Eventually, Donna made it home unharmed. School district officials dispute Michael's version of events. They said they did try to call Donna's parents, but were unable to make contact.
In a statement posted online, Massapequa Public Schools Superintendent Lucille F. Iconis said, "District officials immediately convened an investigation to determine the course of events and if regular processes and protocols warranted revision to strengthen security measures already in place. Student and staff safety is our primary concern."
Corinne Michael doesn't believe the school tried to reach her, and she believes the school needs to make some changes. Donna is back in classes, and Michael said she's been assured an aide will keep an eye on her. But she also believes a security guard should be in place at school exits.
Follow Michael George on Twitter @mgeorge4NY