Kidnapping at School: What Went Wrong? - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

Kidnapping at School: What Went Wrong?

Posted: Updated:
A Philadelphia police car is seen parked outside of Bryant Elementary School in West Philadelphia. A Philadelphia police car is seen parked outside of Bryant Elementary School in West Philadelphia.
West Philadelphia -

Many parents at Bryant Elementary School in West Philadelphia are unnerved by the kidnapping that happened inside the school Monday. 

They're unhappy with both the school and the district, for good reason.  District officials say they have good security policies in place, but none of them were followed.  And that allowed the kidnapper to have free rein.

Bryant Elementary School isn't exactly in the safest neighborhood, So you might think security would be extra tight.  But when the victim's mom talked to school officials Monday afternoon, "They didn't know nothing," Latifah Rashid insisted.  "It's going on 3:30 and they didn't know where my kid is."

The kidnapper had talked her way past a hall monitor and took the girl from her class, violating every security procedure the district had put in place.  A district official says a visitor is supposed to sign in at the front desk and show photo ID.  If they're picking up a child, their name must be on a list provided by a parent.  Only then will the child be escorted from his or her classroom.  "A student should never be released to an adult from a classroom," Philadelphia School District Spokesman Fernando Gallard told Fox 29.  "The release should only occur at the main office."

But that didn't happen either.  The victim's substitute teacher allowed the kidnapper into the classroom.  Taja Henson's daughter saw it happen.  "She said the teacher was nervous to let her kind of leave out the classroom, but when I asked, did he call somebody to ask was it okay for her to leave, she said no," Henson said.

"They didn't check ID, they didn't call me," Latifah Rashid, the victim's mother, added.  "The substitute teachers says that he asked the mom if she wanted to sign (the victim) out.  The woman said, oh I already signed her out at the office."

"Clearly it seems that the substitute teacher was not aware," Gallard said. "These policies have been around for a very, very long time."

That begs the question: why didn't the substitute teacher know the procedure?  The parent of a child in the victim's classroom told Fox 29 that class has had three substitute teachers since the start of the new year.  

District officials say they spent the day Tuesday making sure every principal of every school in the district knows the policy. And follows it.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 4:45 PM EDT2014-04-16 20:45:07 GMT
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
  • Teenage Boy Reported Missing In Camden

    Teenage Boy Reported Missing In Camden

    Teenage Boy Reported Missing In Camden

    Monday, April 21 2014 1:06 AM EDT2014-04-21 05:06:41 GMT
    Officials say Michael Edwards was last seen when he left his home on the 700 block of Berkley Street. He is described as a black male 5’5, 120 points, with brown eyes and black hair.Officials say Michael Edwards was last seen when he left his home on the 700 block of Berkley Street. He is described as a black male 5’5, 120 points, with brown eyes and black hair.
    Camden County Police are looking for a 15-year old teenage boy reported missing Saturday night.
    Camden County Police are looking for a 15-year old teenage boy reported missing Saturday night.
  • Police Search For Person Of Interest In Collingdale Hit-And-Run

    Police Search For Person Of Interest In Collingdale Hit-And-Run

    Monday, April 21 2014 1:05 AM EDT2014-04-21 05:05:34 GMT
    A man was struck by a SUV in Collingdale early Saturday morning. Police responded to reports of a hit and run on the 900 block of Bedford Avenue around 5:30 a.m. Upon arrival, they found a Range Rover crashed into a Chrysler 300 and a man was also laying the lawn of 919 Bedford Avenue covered in blood. The victim was transported to Crozer Chester Medical Center. He is in surgery with severe head and severe lower b...
    A man was struck by a SUV in Collingdale early Saturday morning. Police responded to reports of a hit and run on the 900 block of Bedford Avenue around 5:30 a.m. Upon arrival, they found a Range Rover crashed into a Chrysler 300 and a man was also laying the lawn of 919 Bedford Avenue covered in blood. The victim was transported to Crozer Chester Medical Center. He is in surgery with severe head and severe lower b...
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices