Believe it or not, there was once a time when schools were thought of as a safe haven for our children. However, with all the crazy things happening beyond the walls of the classroom these days, parents may think twice before sending their kids off in the morning. Take the case of Naiila Robinson: a five year-old girl who had been dropped off at Cullen Bryant Elementary School in Philadelphia like any other Monday, only to be abducted shortly after her arrival.
According to NBC 10 Philadelphia, the kindergartner was taken from the school by a 20-something Black woman dressed in a burqa. The unidentified abductor knew the child by name and told school officials that she was her mother and would be taking her to breakfast. The woman then signed Naiila out in a school log under the name “Tiffany” and proceeded to walk out with the child in tow. Although the abduction was caught on surveillance video, no one realized that Naiila was actually in danger until her real mother, Latifah Abdur-Rashid, who also wears a burqa, came to pick her up from school at around 3 p.m only to find that she wasn’t there. An Amber Alert was issued and the news of the kidnapping spread over social networks like Twitter and Instagram.
The five year-old was eventually found safe, early Tuesday morning, by a man passing by a park who stopped when he heard a cry for help. The passerby says he found Naiila, cold, wet and scared, hiding under a jungle gym in a park not far from her elementary school. Officials are not certain how she ended up at the playground but were told by Naiila that she escaped from her captors. The child was taken to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for general evaluation and screened for sexual assault as well because she was only wearing a t-shirt when found.
NBC 10 Philadelphia says parents of students at Cullen Bryant Elementary School are upset about the incident and worried about their children’s safety. Meanwhile, police say this case is still under investigation.
At this point, I don’t know what’s more disturbing: the fact that a woman was bold enough to come inside a school and take a child that wasn’t hers or that she was able to do so without so much as a second look.