MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A South Memphis family says negligent teachers let his autistic son walk away from school.
“These people lost my child,” Claude Boone said.
His son Derrick is home safe today, but Boone says their nerves are still on edge after they thought their son might be gone forever.
Boone said, “How dare you give me the image of my dead child. “
Ten-year-old Derrick has low-spectrum autism. He can talk, but has a hard time answering questions.
Boone says his wife went to pick Derrick up from school at Dexter Middle Thursday, but he wasn’t there. She then called the Sheriff’s department.
“There is one room dedicated to children like my son. How is it that out of an entire school you can’t keep an eye on one group of children?”
Shelby County Schools says once the principal was told there was a missing child, she alerted school security who also called the sheriff’s office. But the Boones say, that’s the problem — the school didn’t know the boy was gone.
“He has low spectrum autism. He cannot fend for himself,” Boone said.
Derrick knows his way around a computer, but not the streets of Cordova.
Boone said, “There is no sidewalk. Just the road, a white line, and there’s the grass.”
SCS says the boy went home with a classmate and when the kids got to the house, the parents called the school. He was missing for about 45 minutes.
A SCS spokesmen couldn’t give us an official protocol for a missing student, but say authorities are always called.
“I haven’t been told whose home this was, or where they found him. I have not been given any information. They say I have to get it out of the police report Monday morning.”
Boone says what’s worse, no one from the school even apologized.
Now they are working to get Derrick transferred to a different school, and talking with lawyers to possibly bring legal action against the school.