Child Runs Away From School

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SUNBURY -- Parents picked up their children from Grace Beck Elementary School in Sunbury, and were shocked to find out a 5-year-old girl left the building unattended earlier this week.

"That is unbelievable. I never thought it would be so easy for someone to get out," Brittany Everett said.

District officials say the kindergartener asked to use the restroom at the end of her lunch period. Her teacher noticed she was missing a few minutes later.

"All of the building personnel began to search. They searched the cameras and that's when they found out she left the building and the police were immediately contacted," Superintendent Pat Kelley said.

The superintendent says after the girl left the school she ended up here at the Weis Markets on Fourth Street in Sunbury, which is almost one mile away from the school.

"The police received a call from Weis Markets saying they had a child there with a bathroom pass," Kelley said.

Superintendent Pat Kelley said the child was missing for less than 20 minutes. Even so, the incident had parents worried.

"Once you drop them off here and they go inside you think they're safe. We can't be with them 24 hours a day, they're supposed to keep them safe," Valerie Eeisenhuth said.

Kelley said the elementary school's principal spoke to the children about what to do if they are locked out of the building. He said the kids practiced ringing the buzzer on the front door. Kelley also said the district is considering buying a software program that makes noise when the doors open.

"That's great. That makes me feel a lot better, but it just makes me that much more worried that it's that easy to get out," Everett said.

The Shikellamy superintendent said the little girl was back at school today, and was not hurt.