Family Of Little Branden Forbes Demanding Action From Dept. Of Education

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For the second time in two weeks, a Bronx 5-year-old has been found wandering away from school.

Two weeks ago, a 5-year-old autistic boy walked a half-mile away from P.S. 73 in the Bronx. He was located unharmed. In the latest case, a Good Samaritan returned the child to school, but as CBS 2’s John Slattery reports, his family is still concerned for his safety.

The mother and father of Branden Forbes kept their little guy home from school Tuesday, distressed after he walked out at dismissal on Monday with no one noticing.

“I’m angry. I’m very upset. It’s not supposed to happen,” Desmon Forbes said.

The incident happened outside P.S. 67 on East 179th in the West Farms section. The boy’s father, a city bus driver, has been out of work with an injury. He said he was 15 minutes late picking up his son.

“I worried,” little Branden told Slattery.

Desmon Forbes said when he arrived he saw his son with a woman who said Branden had followed her out of the school, so she took him back.

“She told me she turned around, saw him following her and her children,” Demon said, adding when asked to clarify, “Yes, walked out of the school following a random woman.”

Forbes said he asked inside how his son was left unattended.

“All they can say is it won’t happen again. I want to know how it happened in the first place,” Desmon said.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said: “This 5-year-old was talking with a friend and walked off with him. He wasn’t missing more than five minutes.”

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said children’s safety comes first, and Monday’s incident is being investigated.

“We will do our due diligence and make a determination on what the follow-up will be,” Walcott said.

The Forbes family said their son will go back to school Wednesday, but they will make every attempt to transfer him to a school that keeps better track of its kids.

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