RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)– A Richmond mother is reeling after her autistic son was found wandering in the city after he was locked out of his elementary school.

Na’Jae Davis is currently surrounded by loved ones after a traumatic experience involving her son. Davis said her 6-year-old has autism and attends Woodville Elementary in Richmond. He was supposed to get on the bus just after 2 p.m. to come home on Wednesday afternoon.

Instead, Davis told 8News that her son got locked out of the school after recess. When he realized he couldn’t get back inside, the 6-year-old tried to walk home. He walked for over a mile and was found by a stranger.

According to Richmond Police, officers responded to the 1700 block of Mechanicsville Turnpike at 1:27 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14 after the man who found the boy wandering alone called them.

“After further investigation and speaking with the administration of Woodville Elementary, the child was reunited with his parents.”

Richmond Police

According to Davis, she was home with her children when a Richmond police officer knocked on her door. She said the officer told her that her son had been found walking on the street.

Richmond Public Schools confirmed that the student did not return with their class to the building.

Davis told 8News she wishes there was better communication from the school and feels like she was playing phone tag in order to find out more information. She said she finally got a response from a school employee over the phone.

“She said that they didn’t even know with how long he was actually outside for,” Davis said. “They didn’t care about my child. They didn’t care about my son. I’m traumatized. I can’t sleep.”

She said she’s not comfortable with sending her son back to school.

“I don’t want nobody to have my son’s care in their hands because I don’t feel like they’re going to protect him the way I need my son to be protected,” Davis said. “He can’t speak for himself, so I have to be his advocate. And make sure this don’t ever happen to nobody else’s child.”

After the incident, Richmond Public Schools is working to ensure student safety moving forward.

“We are so thankful he is safe and will be reviewing our protocols, as ensuring the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. We are in communication with the student’s parent and will ensure that the student continues to be supported.”

Matthew P. Stanley, Director of Advocacy and Outreach
Richmond Public Schools

Davis thanks the man who found her son and who ultimately called police.

According to Richmond Police, this is an ongoing investigation.