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Second grader wanders off school property, goes to Dairy Queen and Mancino's

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -

A second grade student at Hums Elementary school wandered off of school property and spent nearly two hours walking the streets of Mishawaka.

“Are we taking this very, very seriously? The answer is yes we are,” said Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Michael Pettibone.  

Administrators said the child asked his teacher for permission to use the restroom, with the intention not to return to class.

Somehow he exited the building and left school grounds.

Ten minutes later the school conducted a search and called police.  

“When you hear that kind of a dispatch it makes your heart sink,” said Mishawaka Police Lieutenant Tim Williams.  

The child embarked on a long walk through neighborhood.

He reportedly stopped for a sweet treat at Dairy Queen, followed by a trip to Mancino’s Italian Eatery on Lincolnway.

Someone there alerted police.

Pettibone said this has prompted the school to discuss ways to improve safety.

A buddy system for bathroom breaks has been brought up.

“And I’ve organized a meeting on Monday afternoon with all of our principals,” Pettibone explained.

It is to debrief and review policies. So Tuesday’s scare never happens again.

“We are so so so relieved that this little boy is safe,” said Pettibone.

The school’s father told ABC57 his son felt peer pressured by another student. 

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