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Second Grader Found Safe After Wandering Away From Tulsa School

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The boy went missing from Lindbergh at 9:45 a.m. The boy went missing from Lindbergh at 9:45 a.m.
Tulsa Police picked him up and returned him to Lindbergh Elementary School at Noon. Tulsa Police picked him up and returned him to Lindbergh Elementary School at Noon.

By Craig Day and NewsOn6.com

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa Public Schools and Tulsa Police searched the neighborhoods surrounding Lindbergh Elementary School after a second grade student walked away from the school Monday morning. 

Almost two hours later, 7-year-old James Pearsall turned up at a Walmart Supercenter at Admiral and Memorial after being spotted by a security guard.

Lindbergh Elementary is located on 9th Street between Memorial and Mingo. James Pearsall was last seen walking to a restroom in the school at about 9:45 a.m. Tulsa Police picked him up and returned him to Lindbergh Elementary School.

Even though he was found safe and sound, it's prompting questions about what schools can do to keep it from happening.

The 7-year-old second grader got a hall pass to go to the restroom. Within moments, he was gone, prompting a search by Tulsa police.

"We will be knocking on doors, and trying to make contact with anyone who may have possibly seen this child," said Leland Ashley, Tulsa Police.

Officers were given a photo and description of the boy. Word quickly spread around the neighborhood.

"He's supposedly in the same class as my son, and I'm just out trying to help find him, because it's a child, it's a child," said Stacy Atkinson, a nearby resident.

As officers were in the early stages of their grid search, the boy was found at a Walmart store about a mile away.

"In this particular instance, the teacher had no reason to believe that the child was a flight risk," said Millard House, TPS Area Superintendent.

TPS Area Superintendent for Elementary Schools Millard House says anytime an incident like this happens, Tulsa Public Schools reviews its procedures and policies.

"There's definitely something we can do better and will do better moving forward. We'll go back and look at the facts and determine exactly what that needs to look like moving forward," said Millard House.

As for the little boy that caused all the questions and commotion, he was brought back by officers to his worried parents at the school.

The district says school personnel followed proper procedures by quickly looking at school surveillance video to make sure no one suspicious had come onto campus. It confirmed the child left on his own. They then called police and the boy's parents.

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