FORREST CITY, Ark. — A Forrest City mother is warning parents after she says her 9-year-old son, who suffers from epilepsy, was found wandering a random neighborhood after the first day of school.
Kemarion Tucker was all smiles as he started his first day of school, but his mom says he ended the day in tears. “The worst thing was just going through my mind. I really didn’t know what to do,” Kionna Patillo said.
The concern started with a call from her brother a little after 3 p.m. Tuesday. He went to pick up Tucker from Stewart Elementary, but he couldn’t find him.
After speaking with staff, Patillo found out her son had three seizures that day. She says when that happens, he passes out.
“Mostly, they go off emotions, or if he gets too hot or nervous,” Patillo said.
She says staff told her Tucker mentioned he rode the bus, so he was put on one to go home. But the mother says her son has never been a bus rider.
“He wasn’t in his right mind to answer you, and even if he was, you shouldn’t go by what a child says.”
She then got a phone call more than an hour-and-a-half after the dismissal bell that her son had been found about 10 miles from their home.
“She found out where I work, and she actually brought him to my job. So, that’s how I found him. My job called me and said, ‘Well, we know we have your son.”
A spokesperson for the school district released a statement saying they are, “aware of the matter and are investigating.”
Following the incident, Patillo and her aunt Deborah Bailey had a meeting with school leaders. They’re hopeful this won’t happen again to their family or any others.
“I do feel confident they mean what they said, and now it’s just a matter of time to make sure this plan is actually followed,” Bailey said.