‘I’m traumatized;’ Mother wants answers after son walks out of Dayton elementary school unnoticed

DAYTON — Dayton Public Schools is investigating how an elementary school student wandered off campus during school hours on Friday.

The boy’s mother, Donriel Norvell, told News Center 7 she found out her son was missing when she got a phone call from her other son saying his brother didn’t get on the bus.

“I instantly knew something wasn’t right when my son called me because the school never called me,” she said. “They never contacted me, they did not know my baby was gone until my son handed them the phone and notified them that his brother was missing.”

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Norvell said when she got in contact with the school, they gave her news that no parent wants to hear.

“They say ‘I’m so sorry Ms. Norvell, I have some disturbing news. We looked on a camera and I guess during school hours, we saw your son exit the building,’” she said. “I hung up the phone, I dial 911, and I let police know that my school did not know where my son was.”

Norvell then took to social media to ask for help finding her son.

“My son was missing for approximately two hours. Everybody shared it,” she said.

Norvell said her son was eventually found in the Trotwood area.

“My baby walked all the way over there from Fairview by himself. So the police went and got my son and brought him back to the school,” Norvell said.

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She described the moment she found out she had her son back.

“It was a good feeling but it was scary because I didn’t know what the outcome of it would be,” she said.

She now wants answers from the school.

“They neglected my child. Like, they left my baby. My baby was gone for a very long time,” she said.

Dayton Public Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. David Lawrence confirmed in a statement to News Center 7 Monday that the district launched an investigation into the incident on Friday.

“The district began a full-scale investigation into this incident on Friday, which includes reviewing video footage of the student exiting the building. This morning, a team was on the ground at Fairview when the building opened to collect additional information,” Lawrence said.

“As a reminder, the safety of all students and staff is the district’s utmost priority. The district would like to assure families that it will conduct a very thorough investigation and take steps to ensure similar incidents do not happen in the future,” the statement continued.

Norvell said she doesn’t feel safe sending her kids to school anymore after what happened Friday.

“I‘m traumatized. I don’t know what can happen next,” she said.

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