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Baldwin family claims 4-year-old son left Brookside Elementary School by himself

A Baldwin family says their 4-year-old child was allowed to leave Brookside Elementary School by himself.

News 12 Staff

Sep 20, 2022, 2:58 AM

Updated 670 days ago

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A Baldwin family says their 4-year-old child was allowed to leave Brookside Elementary School by himself.
Jean Lavelanet says he came to pick up his son, Lukas, on Sept. 12 but was told the boy was no longer there.
"I was just scared somebody maybe could have taken him, he could have gotten hit by a car, who knows?,"Lavelanet says. "So many terrible things could have happened."
The child's grandmother also it was a hard thinking she could potentially lose her grandson.
According to Lukas' family, he wandered for a third of a mile and reached an intersection that is in the neighboring community of Freeport.
The family says Lukas was eventually spotted by a good Samaritan and reunited with his family with the help of school employees.
The Baldwin Union Free School District acknowledge that the child left school grounds but say he was with friends, writing, "A student stepped off of the dismissal line to greet a classmate and continued to walk home with that child, along with other students and families from the school. The district immediately stepped into action and called upon security and the people to help locate the child. The child was located within 20 minutes with the other child and families and was reunited with his father."
Lavelanet says his son should have never been allowed to leave school property and he wants to make sure it never happens again.
"I wouldn't want any other parent to go through what I went through - it was devastating - it was frightening," Lavelanet says.
The Baldwin Union Free School District says they are taking steps to change their dismissal procedures to prevent something like this from happening in the future.
Lukas's family pulled him from the district, and he attended his first day of Catholic school on Monday.
Lavelanet says he graduated from Baldwin High School and enjoyed his experience with the district but they are not ready to let their son go back to public school right now.


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