Mother of Teen Locked Inside a Philadelphia School For 9 Hours Files Complaint

By Paul Kurtz and Jericka Duncan

The mother of a Logan teen who got locked inside his school overnight has lodged a complaint with the School District of Philadelphia, and an investigation is  now underway.

He spent nine harrowing  hours, alone and frightened, in a stairwell at Roosevelt Middle School (see previous story). Angela Johnson says her son, David, was not engaged in any improper activity — just trying to use another route to leave the school to avoid bullies.

“You been going out the right way all this time, then out of nowhere — since the bullying started — you decide to go out that way?  No.  And then you get stuck, not knowing you can’t go out that way?   I don’t think he would go a way where he could not get out.”

David discovered that the stairwell doors on all floors were locked.  He was trapped for nine hours as frantic family members conducted a search.

His father, his uncle, and a school cop finally found him at around midnight.

Mom sat down with the principal and school district officials this morning but says she wasn’t satisfied with their explanation.

“Why was that door locked? That should never be locked from the inside, if it’s for emergency,” she said.  “And you should check. No one checked that stairwell.  And they say they checked, but apparently no one checked, because if someone had checked you would have found him in there.”


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  • Linda J

    The child should not have been there period. If he was being
    bully, he should had told his parents or somebody. Children
    need to learn to speak up for themselves. No, this is not a
    case for a LAWSUIT. Teach children to speak up now, so when
    they are older they will speak up!!!

  • Bill

    the fire code states that once one enters a fire tower the only door that should open after that is the one at street level. You do not want to re-enter a burning bldg. that is definitely a law suite.

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  • Donna Lauria

    The school system in Philadelphia is HORRENDOUS. The schools should just all be shut down and have the kids in Phila. bussed to better schools.

    It’s just ridiculous. I would SUE the school district, if I was the mom of that young boy – negligence of a minor.

    • Laura

      And here it comes. Suing is not always the answer. The minute I saw this story I wondered how long it would be until someone brought this up. I smell a setup.

      • Dee

        And here you go. Lawsuits are not always the answer, but if it’s justified and will prevent another similar or worse situation, then so be it. I think what you’re smelling is your upper lip…..

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