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Special needs son’s school safety incident | #schoolsaftey


A Lake County mom is speaking out after she said her special needs son was found alone trying to cross a busy highway two hours after she dropped him off at school. “It’s so scary. Imagine something bad happening to your child,” said Jennifer Feal. Feal said she is going to be on edge for a while after she dropped off her 12-year-old son at Mount Dora Middle School on Tuesday morning. Feal said her son has autism. She said on Tuesday, she parked in the parking lot and walked her son to the front of the school to drop him off. She said after she spoke with a staff member, she left. But then, two hours later, she got an automated voice message that said her son was absent. He was found about a mile away from the school at the intersection of Highway 441 and Limit Avenue, according to a police report. A woman who owns a mobile coffee bar at the intersection said she and her employee spotted Feal’s son. She said they noticed he was waving at cars and trying to get their attention. The woman said that Feal’s son then tried to cross the highway, and he did something that indicated to her that he needed help. “She noticed that he covered his ears when a truck was honking his horn,” Feal said. “Then she noticed that he was special needs and went towards him and talked to him to come with her.”The woman who found him called 911. “She’s our guardian angel for our little boy. God sent her,” Feal said. While Feal is thankful for the woman who stepped in, she has questions for the school: “How did he get out? How there’s not even one adult watching over the kids noticing that he got out? And how are you going to fix it?” she said. According to a school district spokesperson, Feal’s son’s normal routine is to walk to class unescorted. Instead, they said he walked out the back gate where other students were coming and going before the school day officially began, and attendance had not yet been taken. But, Feal said the signed plan between them and the district said her son: “requires constant adult supervision for the majority of the school day.”“I am disappointed in the school because they need to keep our kids safe and watch them and take care of them. The teachers are the second parents, I always say, to our kids,” she said. “I don’t want this happening again, not only to me, to any child.”The district reiterated that this occurred before the start of the instructional day. They added that they have made changes to Feal’s son’s plan and have informed the family. Feal said she does not plan to bring her son back to Mount Dora Middle School. Instead, they plan on transferring him to another school or homeschooling.

A Lake County mom is speaking out after she said her special needs son was found alone trying to cross a busy highway two hours after she dropped him off at school.

“It’s so scary. Imagine something bad happening to your child,” said Jennifer Feal.

Feal said she is going to be on edge for a while after she dropped off her 12-year-old son at Mount Dora Middle School on Tuesday morning. Feal said her son has autism.

She said on Tuesday, she parked in the parking lot and walked her son to the front of the school to drop him off. She said after she spoke with a staff member, she left.

But then, two hours later, she got an automated voice message that said her son was absent.

He was found about a mile away from the school at the intersection of Highway 441 and Limit Avenue, according to a police report.

A woman who owns a mobile coffee bar at the intersection said she and her employee spotted Feal’s son. She said they noticed he was waving at cars and trying to get their attention. The woman said that Feal’s son then tried to cross the highway, and he did something that indicated to her that he needed help.

“She noticed that he covered his ears when a truck was honking his horn,” Feal said. “Then she noticed that he was special needs and went towards him and talked to him to come with her.”

The woman who found him called 911.

“She’s our guardian angel for our little boy. God sent her,” Feal said.

While Feal is thankful for the woman who stepped in, she has questions for the school:

“How did he get out? How there’s not even one adult watching over the kids noticing that he got out? And how are you going to fix it?” she said.

According to a school district spokesperson, Feal’s son’s normal routine is to walk to class unescorted. Instead, they said he walked out the back gate where other students were coming and going before the school day officially began, and attendance had not yet been taken.

But, Feal said the signed plan between them and the district said her son: “requires constant adult supervision for the majority of the school day.”

“I am disappointed in the school because they need to keep our kids safe and watch them and take care of them. The teachers are the second parents, I always say, to our kids,” she said. “I don’t want this happening again, not only to me, to any child.”

The district reiterated that this occurred before the start of the instructional day. They added that they have made changes to Feal’s son’s plan and have informed the family.

Feal said she does not plan to bring her son back to Mount Dora Middle School. Instead, they plan on transferring him to another school or homeschooling.



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