Reporting Mike Dunn
By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A city council committee heard of “serious” breaches of security during a hearing focused on the January abduction of a 5-year-old girl from a West Philadelphia elementary school.
Karyn Lynch, Chief of Student Support Services, told the council committee that the district revised its early dismissal policy after the abduction to make it more standardized and clear, “so that every school obtains the same vital information.”
Chief Inspector Cynthia Dorsey, in her written testimony, said the investigation by the Office of School Safety reveals “serious security breaches at the (girl’s) school.”
Dorsey did not read that at the hearing, though she did say that under the revised policy, no longer will adults be in schools unescorted. “They will not go directly to the child’s classroom. Nor will they be allowed to wander around the school unescorted by school staff.”
The most damning words, though, came from Thomas Kline, attorney for the girl and her family, who said, “The crime and the injury to the little girl I represent was horrible! Unthinkable!”
And Kline said revising the policy is not enough — it needs to be made clear to all parents and staff: ”We need a published policy that everyone understands, not just those who have access to the Internet, but printed out for those who don’t have it.”
The five-year-old girl was taken from the Bryant School by a woman on the morning of January 14th. She was found the following morning by a passer-by, and police say she had been raped. One woman has been charged and the officials say the investigation is continuing.