Two young boys who walked out of their school made it about five blocks near a local highway before the school noticed they were missing, authorities confirmed to NBC 7.
The incident happened at Fletcher Elementary School, located on the 7600 block of Bobolink Way in Birland, just blocks from State Route 163.
Both boys made it to a 7-Eleven store right off SR-163 before a Good Samaritan noticed them and called police. San Diego Police confirmed to NBC 7 they helped take the boys back to school.
According to a statement from the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), the boys, both 6 years old, had asked their P.E. teacher if they could use the restroom.
When they did not return, the school began searching the campus for them.
The district said the boys had walked unseen through an open gate, which is usually kept locked and needs a key card to open.
Several parents who spoke with NBC 7 following the incident said they did not hear anything about the incident.
"Now I'm kind of worried," said parent Lorena. "Like, what happened. I didn’t know. My daughter didn’t say anything to me. This is news, really, for me.”
"It's up to the school to be more responsible for their kids, making sure all the gates are working properly," said parent Tony Merry. "That's my opinion."
The gates through which the students had walked out from had been open at the time. The district said someone had not made sure that gate had closed all the way.
Fletcher Elementary School sent out a statement to parents, saying safety was a top priority.
The statement read:
“The safety of our students at Fletcher Elementary is always a top priority. We have a very secure campus with cameras that feed directly to School Police and higher than average fences. However, on Tuesday morning, two 6-year-olds participating outside in a P.E. class somehow managed to walk through our school’s front gate and exit the campus unseen. Both School Police and the San Diego Police Department were immediately notified and, within minutes, parents were contacted and the boys were safely back at school. We regret that this happened, but it is a reminder that even with the best of security, we must remain diligent and on high alert. To that end, school staff has been reminded to always securely close the front gate – making certain to hear an audible click – and to instruct students to do the same. We remain committed to the well-being of all of our students at Fletcher Elementary."