Bradenton mother furious her son was released from school, gets lost

Manatee County

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – A teacher mistakenly allowed a 7-year-old Bradenton boy to walk home alone, and now the mother is furious.

Maria Fuentes does not allow her 7-year-old son Fredy Nava to walk home from school.

“With this neighborhood, I’m scared,” said Fuentes.

Every day when school gets out at Daughtrey Elementary, he’s picked up by a nanny.

But Nov. 4th was different. That afternoon he told his teacher he was walking home, so she let him go. The nanny was stunned to learn he was gone.

“The teacher said, ‘He went home walking. He wanted to go home walking.’ And my nanny told her, ‘Was there a letter? Did you call the mom?’ She said no,” explained Fuentes.

The boy was lost for nearly an hour as family members and a school official searched for him.

Fredy ended up more than a mile and a half from home at a restaurant.

A surveillance video shows he was terrified and asked for help.

“He was crying, he thought he was going to get in trouble, he was scared, crying,” said Fuentes.

Fuentes is relieved and angry.

“My son, in those 50 minutes something could’ve happened to him. He could’ve gotten kidnapped or worse, hit by a car,” she said.

She feels the school is not taking this seriously.

“The principal said, ‘We’re at fault, but at least he’s ok,’ and that was not ok with me,” said Fuentes.

She’s demanding the teacher be held accountable and that changes are made. She has also removed her boy from the school.

“Your kids are your life, fight for them. If you don’t, who will?” she said.

A school spokesperson explained there was confusion at dismissal. Leaders at the school and the district level are aware of the situation and they are making sure protocols are being followed.

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