School: system worked when Webb special needs student bolted fro - WFLA News Channel 8

School: system worked when Webb special needs student bolted from campus

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

When a special needs student bolted from Webb Middle School in Town N' Country on Friday, faculty at the school sprang into action. The boy was located minutes later.

School district spokesman Steve Hegarty says the system to deal with situations like that worked.

"The teacher let everyone know what was going on and we put our plan into place,” said Hegarty.

"The plan is, the principal gets involved on the radio, the school resource officer gets involved, the teacher gets involved, other folks get involved. We send someone to the house. Within something like ten minutes, we found the student. He was headed home."

The school system revised its training and formed a task force following the death of another special needs student, 11-year old Jenny Caballero.

In January of 2012, the seventh grader wandered away from Rodgers Middle School in Riverview. Authorities say she drowned in a nearby retention pond.

Hegarty says while the cases seem similar, in the case involving Jenny Caballero, the staff members who were charged with watching her did not immediately realize she had wandered off.

"A period of time went by when they were even aware she was missing. So, that was the issue there,” said Hegarty. "In this case we mobilized everybody, because we didn't want a long period of time to pass, we didn't want the student to get very far. And he did not."

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