North Carolina

Wake County 3rd-grade students walked off at recess. Police found them at McDonald’s.

A Wake County elementary school launched a frantic search this week after two students wandered off the campus in Holly Springs before being found a mile away at a McDonald’s.

In an email Wednesday to parents, Holly Grove Elementary School principal Sarah Simmons said that teachers determined two students were missing after third-grade students returned at 2:50 p.m. from outdoor recess. Simmons said that a search was conducted of the campus, the parents of the two students were called and Holly Springs police were contacted.

Simmons said police found the students at the nearby McDonald’s after getting a call from a concerned Holly Grove parent. The students were returned to school and, according to Simmons, will face “appropriate disciplinary action to ensure” that “they understand the severity of their actions.”

“Our staff will use this as a learning opportunity to continue to improve our supervisory practices,” Simmons said in the message. “There is nothing more important to the staff of Holly Grove Elementary than the safety of our children.”

Simmons praised several people, including the parent who called police, for the safe return of the students.

She also urged parent to talk with their children about following school rules and staying safe.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

T. Keung Hui has covered K-12 education for the News & Observer since 1999, helping parents, students, school employees and the community understand the vital role education plays in North Carolina. His primary focus is Wake County, but he also covers statewide education issues.