BROOKLYN — Investigators found no wrongdoing on the part of school administrators after a 15 year-old special needs student walked out of her high school and went missing for three days, the Special Commissioner of Investigation announced Wednesday.
Abboud said he did not try to physically stop Perez from leaving because he did not want to put his hands on her and he, instead, radioed in to tell school staff about the incident.
Another 17-year-old special needs student also walked out of school that day, according to the report.
In total, including Perez, four special needs students walked out of PS 371 around lunch time on Sept. 15 and each of them was seen doing so by at least one school employee or a school safety division personnel, according to the report. All, but Perez, returned to school located on 37th Street in Sunset Park, the next day.
Perez went missing for three days before police found her at a friend's place in East New York.
The incident echoed the disappearance of Avonte Oquendo a year earlier.
The 14-year-old autistic boy went missing from his school in October 2013 and was found dead in January. City officials passed a law in his name to ensure more safety measures were taken at schools catering special needs students.
City investigators also concluded there was no misconduct in that case and did not recommend any disciplinary actions against any Department of Education employees.
The lawyer for both families said he was stunned that no one has been held responsible in either incident.
“This is second report that I’ve seen from SCI and the first one was Avonte’s. I keep getting the feeling that SCI doesn’t seem to have much interest in figuring out if anybody really did their job or not,” said David Perecman, Perez’s family lawyer. "Something is wrong here and I don’t understand why there are not consequences.”
The Perez's family recently filed a claim against the city.
“The investigation shows that school staff followed protocol. The DOE is committed to providing safe and supportive learning environments for all our students,” Department of Education spokeswoman Devora Kaye wrote in an email.