Mother Demands Answers After Her Autistic Son Is Found Miles From School

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An Arizona mother is left with more questions than answers, after finding out her son was missing from school.

Worse yet, the school seemed unaware of the problem until the mother arrived to pick him up.

And once you hear the school’s response, you’ll be outraged.

Not knowing where your child is and if they are safe is a parent’s worst nightmare – especially, when it is caused by the wrongdoings of entrusted caregivers.

Amber Gutierrez arrived at the Academy of Math and Science South Mountain in south Phoenix like any other day, to pick up her son, Daniel.

Daniel, a kindergartener at the school, is on the autistic spectrum.

But when she arrived, her daughter asked her why Daniel had left school early.

Distressed, Amber spent the next half an hour asking the staff questions to find out where he was.

They were not helpful.

Fox10 Phoenix reports:

“Five minutes later, I’m like, ‘Are you guys going to tell me what’s going on?’ She tells me ‘Well, I don’t know if the teacher is going to come and speak to you, or if someone else is going to tell you what happened, but he’s not here,'”

Can you even imagine?!

That’s when Amber received a phone call from another mother from her son’s class, saying she had found Daniel two miles from the school.

Two miles!

Fox10 Phoenix reports:

“I’m in tears. Luckily a mother that has a daughter in his class [and] has my phone number had found him two miles down the road and called me,” said Gutierrez. “I’m in tears freaking out, asking the office what is going on. I’m in there for about 30-40 minutes without anyone coming out to speak to me.”


Luckily, Amber was reunited with Daniel, and all are safe, but this story could have ended differently.

In an interview with Fox10 Phoenix, Amber told the reporter she is “traumatized,” and, “I haven’t slept right. He’s not only in kindergarten, but he’s also [on the autism spectrum], so that alone is scary.”

And when they asked Daniel where he was going when he left school he said, “Home, because I was – the music teacher told me to go.”

The action(s) of the school staff involved in this case are unacceptable.

The school initially did not give a comment but has since released a statement:

Fox10 Phoenix reports:

“Nothing is more important to AMS than the safety and well-being of our students and staff. Upon learning of the circumstances surrounding an incident reported yesterday, we began an immediate investigation, and we have already taken appropriate personnel action as a result.  We regret that this situation occurred, and we are revisiting our safety protocols to determine where the breakdown occurred so that an incident like this never happens again.”

The school already has a number of safety protocols in place, including double front doors by the front desk that require someone to buzz guests into the building.

So, what really went wrong?

How did a 5-year-old boy walk past the front desk and through these doors unnoticed?

Amber and the entire community deserve answers and disciplinary actions need to be taken.