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Special Needs Teen Goes Missing From Brooklyn School, Mother Says

By  Ben Fractenberg and Lisha Arino | September 17, 2014 8:45pm 

 Police are looking for Nashaly Perez, 15, a special needs student who went missing from the Lillian L. Rashkis High School on 37th Street in Sunset Park Monday afternoon, Sept. 15, 2014. 
Nashaly Perez
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MIDTOWN — A family is frantically looking for a special needs teen after she was last seen walking out of her Sunset Park high school Monday, the girl’s distraught mother told reporters Wednesday.  

Nashaly Perez, 15 — who is assigned a full-time paraprofessional because she suffers from a mood disorder and takes anti-hallucinatory medication, according to her family — left the Lillian L Rashkis High School on 37th Street about noon on Monday, a Department of Education spokeswoman confirmed.

“She’s my life. She’s my everything. I breathe for her,” the girl’s mother, Sandra Rodriguez, said through a translator.  “Come home. Call me. We will go pick you up.”

 Sandra Rodriguez described her missing daughter as "her everything."
Sandra Rodriguez described her missing daughter as "her everything."
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

Nashaly is supposed to have a bilingual paraprofessional with her during every class period, according to her individualized education report.

“She is 15 years old, it’s like she’s a 7-year-old,” Rodriguez’s boyfriend, William Brewley, 44, speaking of her emotional development.

The family’s lawyer, David Perecman, who also represented the family of missing autistic teen, Avonte Oquendo, added that Nashaly has trouble interacting with people.

“She gets angry. She has outbursts,” Perecman said during a press conference at his Midtown office.

The Department of Education did not provide immediate information on whether students were allowed to leave the school during lunchtime or if Nashaly was supposed to be supervised outside of the classroom, and could only add that “the matter is being investigated.”

“I am deeply concerned about this student and we have school support on site as we work with the NYPD to investigate this matter,” New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said in a statement.

Nashaly’s family said they would put her on the bus at 6 a.m. and pick her up at 4 p.m. when the bus dropped her off at home.

The teen was not allowed to travel around the city on her own and they did not think she knew how to ride public transportation.

Rodriguez found out her daughter was missing when she went to pick up her up early from school at about 1 p.m. on Monday because she had a doctor’s appointment.

The mother said Nashaly’s paraprofessional was standing outside when she arrived at the school and seemed unconcerned and told her “your daughter left school.”

Rodriguez then went to the principal, who she said “seemed surprised” that her daughter was missing.

They then called Nashaly’s homeroom teacher who said she also did not know where the teen was.

Rodriguez said the principal’s staff then “kept working, ignoring her” and told her “they were done with her” and she could go home.

The mother “didn’t know what to do so she called 911,” her translator said. 

When the police arrived the school paged Nashaly over their intercom even though they knew she was not there, Rodriguez added.

The school's principal, Joan Antonelli, has since been reassigned after the teen went missing, sources said.

When asked at a community education council meeting how another teen could go missing after Avonte Oquendo walked out of his Long Island City school last October and was later found dead, Fariña said "there's no excuse." 

"Under my watch — I’m going to repeat this again — safety is my first concern. Anyone who doesn’t follow procedures will be judged for that purpose,” Fariña told reporters at the District 1 Community Education Council meeting at P.S. 20 Wednesday evening. 

Nashaly lives with her mother and 17-year-old brother, Angel Perez, who suffers from schizophrenia, in Coney Island.

They moved from The Bronx in January in part because Nashaly was being bullied, Rodriguez said, and was attacked by a group of parents.

Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.