Spokane kindergartner walks away from school unnoticed - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane kindergartner walks away from school unnoticed

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

It's one of the great fears for parents, your child disappears from class and no one from the school notices. That's exactly what happened for one Spokane mom. Her 5-year-old daughter, a kindergartner, walked away from her Sheridan Elementary classroom undetected by staff. Her mother said she was gone more than 30 minutes.

"I thought somebody was playing a joke on me," Tara Clemm said. "They asked me 'do you know where your daughter is,' I said yeah, she's where she's supposed to be in school. They said we actually have her, she's out in the (Spokane) Valley on a city bus."

The 'they' Tara is referring to is a local police officer. She immediately called her daughter Morgan's school to see if there was a mistake.

After being put on what she says was an uncomfortably long hold, Tara hung up and called back. This time the principal picked up, confirming her fears.

She arranged to meet police at the school to get her daughter, and the wild story.

"The first thing she said to me when she hopped out of the police car is 'Mom, I went on an adventure,'" Tara said.

An adventure that took her several miles away from Sheridan, deep into the valley. One that could have easily turned into unimaginable tragedy.

"She was trying to cross Freya, a gentleman driving a truck pulled over the help her," Tara said. "At that time, an STA bus pulled up. They talked and decided to put her on the bus where she was safe."

Tara said she was told, the decision was made to keep little Morgan on board as the driver carried on his route. This way she was protected, as the driver could arrange a pick-up with police. Tara said the bus driver is nothing short of a guardian angel.

"Thank you so much for taking care of my little girl, without you, who knows what would have happened," Tara said.

Tara is now hoping to meet both drivers who helped to thank them in person.

Police told her Morgan knew her mother's full name and phone number, making the reunion an easy process. It's a good reminder to have that conversation with your family.

KHQ's Hayley Guenthner did reach out to the school district to figure out how this happened. While no one did an interview, the district did release the following statement:

"In light of this situation, several steps have been put into place to ensure that higher levels of safety are in place at the site. This includes, but is not limited to, having safety staff on site to review placement and number of security cameras in that particular wing of the school.

The principal and a central district administrator did talk with the mom on Friday after the incident to discuss multiple measures that are in place to ensure the safety of her child."

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