Parents Angry After Child Disappears From School

Girl found almost half a mile away at Walmart

By Randy McIlwain and Stacy Morrow
|  Wednesday, Oct 7, 2009  |  Updated 1:02 PM CDT
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Allen ISD Student Goes Missing From Middle School

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Allen ISD Student Goes Missing From Middle School

The parents of a child with Down syndrome say they should have been notified when she went missing from school.
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The mother and father of a 12-year-old girl who disappeared from her school said they are angry because no one immediately notified them.  

Christina Borders, who has Down syndrome, walked out of Curtis Middle School on Friday and was found a little more than half an hour later at a Walmart that is nearly a mile away, said her father, Gregg Borders.

School surveillance cameras show the girl leaving the building unattended at about 3:30 p.m., which is about the time she was supposed to be boarding a bus to go home, police said.

“Around 3:45 is when our school resource officer was notified of the missing child and is when the Allen Police Department got involved,” said Sgt. Nicole Smith.

Then at about 4:11 p.m., the manager of a Neighborhood Walmart Grocery store noticed that Christina seemed to be lost and called police.

As officers and school personnel searched for Christina, her mother waited for her daughter's bus to arrive. 

“The whole thing was 41 minutes according to the police reports,” Gregg Borders said.

Even when her mother asked why her daughter's bus was late, she wasn't told about Christina's disappearance, Gregg Borders said.
 
It wasn’t until after Christina was found that school personnel said they wanted to meet with them to discuss what had happened, he said.

"The first thing we want corrected, of course, is that this never happens again to our daughter or anybody else,” Gregg Borders said. “The process broke down, the system broke down.”

He and Christina's mother, who is a teacher at Allen High School, have filed a formal complaint against the Allen Independent School District.

The district said it is conducting an internal investigation, but would not comment further.

The Allen ISD superintendent sent a letter to both of Christina's parents apologizing for what happened and assuring that the school district is taking steps to make sure the incident doesn’t happen again.

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