Elementary student wanders away from Steel Valley school

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A male student from Barrett Elementary in Homestead was able to walk out of the school on Tuesday and be gone for 20 minutes before he was found and returned to school.

Steel Valley school directors confirmed the scenario at the board's workshop session Tuesday night after Munhall resident Donna Dreshman asked if it were true.

School officials gave few details other than that the student, whose age and grade level they would not identify, asked to leave his class to go to the restroom. Instead, he bypassed the bathroom and headed out an unlocked back door of the school and went home.

School director Susan Ballas said she thought the district had placed an alarm on the door. But apparently those plans had not been carried out.

Ms. Dreshman said she was surprised that there would be no warning if one of the school doors opened during the day. "If there's an alarm system, didn't lights go off or something when the door opened," she asked.

School officials would not release any further details about the incident or explain how the child was found or brought back to the school.

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