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Autistic child allowed to leave school alone in middle of day

School district: Employee responsible terminated

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A child's family is angry, unable to understand how the 6-year-old kindergartner was able to walk across the street from the school, permitted to leave in the middle of the day.

Local 10 News has learned the school worker who allowed it to happen has been fired.

The child's mother told Local 10 that it was just after 10 a.m. when her daughter, Zoe Maglio, knocked on the front door of her home to say she was cold.

"How could someone let a 6-year-old child do that?" asked Zoe's mom, Danielle Maglio.

The child, who is autistic, walked the half mile to the house all by herself after telling a security guard that she wasn't feeling well.

All of this happened as the girl's class was in the cafeteria at Everglades Elementary School off SW 87th Avenue and 16th Street.

According to the girl's family, the child told a security guard that her mom was waiting for her across the street, despite the fact that no one signed the child out of school.

Zoe's aunt walked to the school after hearing what happened to find school workers driving around the neighborhood looking for the girl. Family members said they never received a call from the school saying the child had gone missing.

"I treat her like my kid," Zoe's aunt said. "It's really tough on me."

Late Monday afternoon, the school district released a statement that read:

"Miami-Dade County Public Schools has strict guidelines in place to ensure student safety. Today, there was a breach of protocol by a school employee who did not follow those guidelines. The employee has been terminated and will not be rehired."

The child's mother said she did speak with the school principal, who apologized for the incident. Despite the error, the family said Zoe will stay at the school -- at least for now.

"I'm sure it affected her in some way, but not the way its affected me," Danielle Maglio said of her daughter.