PALATKA, Fla. - Allanisa Fuqua says her 5-year-old daughter Al-Janae Jackson went missing inside a Palatka Elementary School, and a janitor found her daughter asleep after everyone had gone home.
"Pitch black. My baby is scared of the dark," said Fuqua, a mother of four. "By the time we would have gotten to her, my baby would have been in a state of shock, traumatized."
The Department of Children and Families says it is now investigating the school, William Moseley Elementary, on allegations of inadequate supervision or neglect.
According to police reports, Al-Janae "was sent to the office because she was complaining of a stomach ache." She "was told to sit in the front office chair and remain there until she was told to leave for the day."
But at some point, police said the girl "got up from her chair and walked to the bathroom in the nurses clinic, then she walked over to the bed in the clinic, pulled the curtain and went to sleep."
"I just don't understand why anybody didn't know she was back there," Fuqua said. "If she was sick, why aren't any eyes being kept on her."
Fuqua said when her daughter didn't get off the school bus, she panicked and called the school. That's when police said a janitor found the 5-year-old sleeping.
"They need to keep a better eye on the kids," Fuqua said. "How could they let the kids wander around the school like that, especially the ages that they are."
Phyllis Kriswell, the superintendent of the Putnam County School District, says there is a policy in place that during the school day no child should be left alone at any time. This particular incident happened during an after-school care program.
Regardless, the superintendent says changes will be made.
"There is never intent on anyone's part to do any harm to a child," Kriswell said in a phone interview. "So certainly what happened was not intentional, but it happened, and we need to make sure it doesn't happen again to any child."
DCF says the investigation into what happened at the school may take several weeks. When the report is done, it will go to the School Board, which will determine if any further action will be taken.
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