WBLS NEWS with Ann Tripp


Avonte Oquendo’s teacher, school ignored warning, broke protocols, city finds

School officials violated their own protocols and looked the other way when autistic student Avonte Oquendo waltzed past a security desk and walked out of his Queens school, New York City investigators charged Thursday.

The 14-year-old nonverbal student was able to dodge past several layers of security when he disappeared Oct. 4 — including a school safety agent who saw Avonte head for an exit door but was distracted by another student, according to the damning report.

Staff members at Riverview School in Long Island City also ignored a warning from Avonte’s mother that he was a flight risk.

“Safety concerns — please make sure you keep an eye out he likes to run. Need 1 [on] 1 supervision will leave the building,” Vanessa Oquendo wrote to her son’s teacher, who did not share the important information with other administrators, according to investigators.

In another glaring case of negligence, the principal of the building, Edgar Rodriguez, refused to call for a soft lockdown to search the school.

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