School’s out: Local parents blast honchos at Gravesend school after youngster went missing for an hour

School’s out: Local parents blast honchos at Gravesend school after youngster went missing for an hour
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Call it the school of hard knocks.

A pair of local parents blasted honchos at a Gravesend elementary school after their 5-year-old son wandered two miles away from the learning house and was missing for an hour earlier this month, according to ABC7.

The boy’s disappearance was a harrowing experience for his parents, his mother told the news channel.

“I don’t want no one [sic] suffer what I suffer that day,” said Casilda Mesa.

Five-year-old Juan Francisco Reynoso Mesa exited Coney Island Prep Elementary School — which is housed inside IS 281 on 24th Avenue between Bath and Cropsey avenues — through a door without an alarm at around 4:10 p.m. on April 3, when the school’s bus broke down and staffers called students’
parents to pick them up,
according to ABC7.

Mesa’s father, Julio Reynoso, arrived at the school shortly after 4 p.m., but became alarmed after his son had not come to the main lobby after 15 minutes, ABC7 reported.

The school’s safety agent then told staffers that he didn’t know how to check the security cameras or which alarm would have gone off had the boy left, prompting administrators to begin frantically searching the area, according to ABC7, which added that both the school’s director of operations and Mesa’s mother called 911.

A good Samaritan found the youngster two miles away — at 75th Street and 16th Avenue — about an hour after he disappeared, at 5:13 p.m., and Mesa was reunited with his parents at around 5:30 p.m., the news outlet reported.

ABC7 added that Mesa’s parents pulled him out of school the following day, and were considering filing a lawsuit against the school for the “pain and suffering” they experienced.

Reynoso, Mesa, and their lawyer, William Ferro, could not be reached by press time. Reps for Coney Island Prep did not respond to inquiries by press time.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@schnepsmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.