THE BRONX - Parents are questioning the security at a Bronx elementary school after two 8-year-olds snuck out and went to Manhattan during school hours Thursday.

Brianna Cruz and Maria Zepeda disappeared in the afternoon after they left P.S. 53. Friends of the girls said they asked their teacher to use the restroom and then snuck out a back door.

The third-graders then took the subway to Battery Park, said Zepeda?s grandmother.

Both girls were found unharmed by police Thursday evening.

?Security needs to be investigated,? said Victor Martinez, a parent who has a child in P.S. 53. ?How does that happen? How are the side doors unlocked, the back doors? That's not right.?

Parents are outraged school officials didn?t notify them sooner about the incident and plan to follow up with the Department of Education.

A spokesperson at the DOE declined to comment on the incident because it is still under investigation.