School officials and the state Department of Children and Families are investigating after a 4-year-old girl walked home alone from school after she was sent to the office to be picked up early.
The little girl was going to be picked up early Tuesday, but she was sent to the office at the Thirman Milner School in Hartford prematurely, according to police.
When she didn't see her mother, the little girl walked around half a mile to her Bedford Street home.
Guillermina Ruiz, a resident who saw the girl walking, followed her to ensure she got home safely, according to police.
Ruiz said she was stopping at the store when she saw the girl crossing the street.
"She said, 'The school sent me home," Ruiz said. "I said, 'I can't believe the school sent you home. You probably walked out of school."
The little girl was crying and soaked from the rain, Ruiz said/
"I'm shocked that 4-year-old little girl took me to her house," Ruiz said. "I'm a stranger to her and she left with me. Imagine with who else she could have left with."
The girl's mother, Keishla Rodriguez, was greated by her daughter and Ruiz when she was getting ready to go to the school.
"How did nobody see a 4-year-old pass by through the main office and go out to the door?" Rodriguez asked.
Parents normally have to sign out their children when picking them up early.
"The school didn't know nothing until I called," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said her daughter will not be going back to the school.
"I feel like she's not safe," Rodriguez said.
No criminal action was taken, according to police, but the school is conducting an internal investigation and the school social worker and police called DCF, which will also investigate.
Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, assistant superintendent for instructional learning for Hartford Public Schools, said they have started to revise procedures for all schools.
"The procedures differ in our schools," she said. "Some of our schools have IDs, some don't, so we are reviewing all our policies to make sure all students remain safe."