I am so sad for Kerra Wilson. I am so angry with the SF, I can't write what I feel towards him.
As I've read the pages of the thread, there have been many comments about schools calling home. As a retired teacher, I did that "duty" for a number of years. It's a major responsibility. Many parents will say their children left for school or took the bus (secondary school). Attendance was double-checked with the current teacher/class and many times it was an error or the student tried to cover up lateness by appearing at the first class but not homeroom where the attendance was taken. Unfortunately, in our school, the daily attendance list was usually pages long, with two columns per page. The first person on duty would listen to the tapes and mark in green the parents who had called their children in. I was second and would call down the list for as long as possible. It was rare for me to be able to finish the list in the time I had. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough personnel to complete the list and office staff had to do it in their rare free moments. Finances didn't allow for a full time position to do this task.
What always frightened me the most were the parents who covered for their children. They didn't know where they were, but didn't tell us that. However, after 31 years of teaching and seeing this process work sometimes and not work sometimes, we never had a student abducted from school grounds that we knew of.
Elementary students are of much more concern. They are so much more vulnerable to abduction and it is so important to take safety precautions that I have read about in other posts, so I won't repeat.
One thing I do know. Safety precautions at schools need to be a top priority. I hate when they are subject to budget cuts. Every school needs someone to call the parents personally (not a computer). To contact the parent of one child can take numerous calls. My priority was the home phone, parents' work phones, and if available, cell phones. There were days when a total of six calls were made for one student, only to leave six messages on voice mail.
While, as many of you have said, it made no difference in this case, it could have and will possibly be beneficial in future situations.