Parents of missing children upset with school - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Parents of missing children upset with school

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

When parents send their child off to school, they're trusting the school will take care of them. However, the parents of two Cedar Falls children that went missing feel that didn't happen.

When Jody Mcfadden heard her six-year-old daughter Elizabeth was missing from Lincoln Elementary this afternoon, she didn't know what to do.

"It's a whole physical thing that comes over your body, that you can't even process," said Mcfadden.

Bryan Sawyer is the father of the other missing kindergartner, Joy.

"I think this is a clear message to the schools that they need to tighten their stuff up," he said.

Elizabeth and Joy walked home alone to play. So when Joy's mother, Mandy Janssen, arrived to pick her daughter up, she was surprised.

"They said her boot and her folder were found outside," Janssen said. "I was like, 'oh no, someone took her in a car.' Everything went through my mind."

The two girls were missing for 45 minutes. Joy's father said he was just glad the day didn't end in tragedy.

"I think this is an example of how the school should make a change with the rides," Sawyer said. "No matter who they may be, be aware of who the ride is."

Sawyer said teachers should make eye-contact with rides before releasing the kids, but Superintendent Andy Pattee said that's already the policy.

"Cedar Falls Community School District and Lincoln Elementary have procedures in place regarding student dismissal and our primary concern is student safety," he said. "The cause and the reasons how the students left the building and walked to one of their homes are under investigation."

But the parents want something done, because they said the kids are too young to be responsible for themselves.

"Because they don't really know," Janssen said. "They didn't even know they were in trouble. They don't know that stuff."

Back with Mcfadden, when her daughter was missing, she said she thought of murdered Evansdale girls Lyric and Elizabeth.

"You know, as scary as this is, it's a good thing they walked home and that's where they were," she said. "... I am thanking God so much. I just think about immediately how the other parents must feel when the turnout isn't so good. I mean my heart breaks for them all. I'm happy she's here and nothing bad happened."

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