Father upset with elementary school over handling of missing son

Tyrone Johnson’s son is 5 years old, has non-verbal autism and attends St. Martin North Elementary School.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 6:42 PM CST
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ST. MARTIN, Miss. (WLOX) - A St. Martin father is speaking out against the Jackson County School District after his son went missing from school.

Tyrone Johnson’s son is five years old and has non-verbal autism.

He attends St. Martin North Elementary School.

According to Johnson, on Jan. 6, his son went missing during recess. 

“[The school says they] last seen him at 12:08 on the playground on camera,” Johnson said. “They say he climbed a fence, but they can’t see how he climbed the fence because the camera doesn’t show that angle.”

Johnson claims that the school didn’t call him and instead launched a search of its own.

The young boy was found in the woods behind the playground sometime later. His clothes were muddy and wet.

“Somebody could’ve called 911 and had my son found within minutes instead of lost for 48 minutes,” Johnson said. “I felt like the system let me down because I wasn’t notified that my kid was missing in the woods.”

WLOX News reached out to the school district for answers.

“I really can’t discuss the details of the event, but I can tell you that once they found the student was missing, it was taken very seriously by a group of people who are very conscientious about those young people,” said Superintendent John Strycker. “Any period of time that a student is missing, even if it’s for one minute, is too much.”

Still, Johnson said more should be done to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“I just hope that I’m gonna make something positive out of it,” he said. “That this never happens to someone else’s kid. The teachers are gonna have to be aware.”

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