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Father speaks out after Jefferson City student goes missing during field trip

A Jefferson City middle school student’s father is speaking out after the boy ran away from a field trip in St. Louis Thursday.

The boy and his mother showed up at the ABC 17 News studios nearly 8 hours after his disappearance.

Officials with the Jefferson City Public School District said the student from Lewis and Clark Middle School walked away from his class during a field trip at the city’s Holocaust museum Thursday night.

He was found several hours later and returned to Jefferson City by law enforcement.

The boy’s father told ABC 17 Friday just one day before his son went on the field trip, he was visiting his son at the Prenger Home in Jefferson City, and he told social workers there his son should not be going because he was a flight risk.

He also told workers at Prenger that his son would probably attempt to escape.

ABC 17 contacted the school district Friday. They said they are reviewing the incident in coordination with the Prenger Center, and said the staff’s response “to this difficult situation was appropriate. Policies and procedures were followed.”

The school said JCPS administration will meet to review and discuss whether changes in field trip protocol will be needed.

Neither the Columbia or Jefferson City police departments are investigating.

The boy was taken back to the Prenger Center in Jefferson City.

The boy’s mother told us Thursday night she was upset at how school officials handled the situation.

She said administrators knew the teenager didn’t want to be on the trip and was a risk for running away, but didn’t offer extra supervision to keep him with the group. The student has recently been in the care of a youth center in Jefferson City because of discipline problems, and his mother said he’s wanted to come home.

She was also frustrated that she didn’t learn he was missing until four hours after her son disappeared.

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