Kidnapping at School: What Went Wrong? - New York News

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>>

  • Girl Hopes To Take Team To Little League World Series

    Girl Hopes To Take Team To Little League World Series

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:06:05 GMT
    A group of little leaguers from the city have already conquered the state, now they're setting their sights on getting to the Little League World Series.
    A group of little leaguers from the city have already conquered the state, now they're setting their sights on getting to the Little League World Series.

  • Man Hospitalized After Police-Involved Shooting In North Philadelphia

    Man Hospitalized After Police-Involved Shooting In North Philadelphia

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:04 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:04:48 GMT
    SkyFOX is over the 3200 block of Page Street where Philadelphia Police say they shot a suspect.SkyFOX is over the 3200 block of Page Street where Philadelphia Police say they shot a suspect.
    SkyFOX is over the 3200 block of Page Street where Philadelphia Police say they shot a suspect.
    SkyFOX is over the 3200 block of Page Street where Philadelphia Police say they shot a suspect.
  • New Jersey Man Accused Of Killing Girlfriend Appears In Court

    New Jersey Man Accused Of Killing Girlfriend Appears In Court

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:22 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:22:24 GMT
    A man accused of killing his girlfriend and then dumping her body along a roadside in New Jersey appeared in court on Wednesday.U.S. Marshals picked up 52-year old Kevin Ambrose a few days ago.
    A man accused of killing his girlfriend and then dumping her body along a roadside in New Jersey appeared in court on Wednesday.U.S. Marshals picked up 52-year old Kevin Ambrose a few days ago.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Animation genius of Chuck Jones on display at Museum of the Moving Image

    Animation genius of Chuck Jones on display at Museum of the Moving Image

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:35 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:35:59 GMT
    Chuck Jones -- the genius artist, animator, and director who created Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny and many more -- is the subject of a new exhibition at Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. "What's Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones" runs from July 19, 2014, through January 19, 2015.
    Chuck Jones -- the genius artist, animator, and director who created Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny and many more -- is the subject of a new exhibition at Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. "What's Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones" runs from July 19, 2014, through January 19, 2015.
  • Astorino blasts Cuomo over Moreland Commission

    Astorino blasts Cuomo over Moreland Commission

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:54 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:54:36 GMT
    In 2013, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo created a state panel to investigate public corruption, called the Moreland Commission. But the governor is accused of interfering with investigations and compromising the commission's work. Republican Astorino, who is running against Cuomo, claimed Cuomo didn't hand over evidence to State Police. Astorino wants a special prosecutor to find out if any state and federal laws were broken.
    In 2013, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo created a state panel to investigate public corruption, called the Moreland Commission. But the governor is accused of interfering with investigations and compromising the commission's work. Republican Astorino, who is running against Cuomo, claimed Cuomo didn't hand over evidence to State Police. Astorino wants a special prosecutor to find out if any state and federal laws were broken.
  • WTC shipwreck mystery solved

    WTC shipwreck mystery solved

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:08:14 GMT
    Archeologists say they've solved a mystery that started with the rebuilding at ground zero. During the excavation at the World Trade Center Site, workers uncovered part of an old ship. No one knew where it came from. Now after years of study, researchers believe the sloop dates back to 1773, built from wood harvested from Pennsylvania, the same kind used to build Independence Hall.
    Archeologists say they've solved a mystery that started with the rebuilding at ground zero. During the excavation at the World Trade Center Site, workers uncovered part of an old ship. No one knew where it came from. Now after years of study, researchers believe the sloop dates back to 1773, built from wood harvested from Pennsylvania, the same kind used to build Independence Hall.
Powered by WorldNow
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