Parent: Man comes on school playground

Published On: Mar 11 2013 12:33:59 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 01 2013 06:02:08 PM EST
San Jose Elementary School playground
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A Jacksonville parent is asking questions about how a man was able to walk on her daughter's school grounds Thursday and play with children.

Trina Tolocko said this was the second time the same man has been close to San Jose Elementary School on St. Augustine Road in Lakewood.

Now she's afraid for her 6-year-old daughter's safety and wants the school to do more. She also doesn't want her daughter to go out for recess or P.E. at school.

What really bothers Tolocko is that when teachers saw the man there, they just asked him to leave. The school said they were just trying to get someone away who didn't belong as quickly as possible.

But because this is the second incident at the school, this mother is concerned her child may be targeted.

"As a parent watching everything that happens on the news nowadays, I was terrified," Tolocko said.

Tolocko is still trying to find out who and why she says the man was able to walk onto the school's playground during after school care and play with children without being stopped.

"I was told he was on the playground, actually made contact with the little boy, swinging him on the swing next to my daughter," she said.

What makes this even more troubling for Tolocko is she says her daughter had run into the same man weeks ago.

The first-grader told her she was playing with friends on the playground during recess when the same man threw keys over the fence and asked her daughter to give them back to him.

"I just can't imagine what would have happened if my daughter had returned those keys to the man," Tolocko said.

Tolocko said she reported it to the principal, who assured her the school was stepping up security, adding police officers and walkie-talkies, and keeping her informed. So she was surprised to learn the man was back on campus Thursday, and school staff simply asked the man to leave.

"I feel like the police should have been notified immediately," she said. "I feel like this man should have been picked up for some questioning, why he feels it's OK to walk on school campus?"

The school said it did call police, but by the time they got to the school, the man was gone.

The sports fields at the school also doubles as a city park. It's open to the public on the weekend and every day during the week after 6 p.m.

The school district says when teachers told the man to leave, he asked what time he was allowed to come back. They told him 6 p.m.

Even though the man left, the thought of him being able to come so close to her child and so many others has Tolocko wishing the school district would do more.

"I'm at work all day, and you know, I have to put my faith into the school system to take care of my children and my child," she said.

The school district says since the incident, it has increased security checks at San Jose Elementary and surrounding schools. Officials said they did a walk-through at the school with police on Friday.

Officials said there is a school resource officer on patrol every day, and officials are examining closing gates around the school.

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