National School Safety and Security Services encourages parents and school officials to educate children about safety issues associated with walking to and from school. Child abductions and exposure to inappropriate conduct unfortunately do occur in our society. We want children to be aware and prepared, but not scared.
Schools should educate students on safe travel, communicate with parents about child safety to and from school, and prepare staff for handling student concerns reported to them.
General tips for students, parents and school officials to consider include, but are not limited to:
- Travel in groups. Form a buddy system of at least two walkers. Avoid being alone.
- Follow main streets and pathways. Don’t stray off onto shortcuts, in wooded areas, or into isolated areas.
- Do not walk up close to cars that may approach you. Do not talk or engage in conversation with individuals. Keep walking and speed up, and turn in the opposite direction of the car and run, if appropriate. Do not willingly leave the area with the potential abductor.
- Do not willingly go with a stranger who claims that a parent sent him/her to pick up the child.
- If approached and/or if someone attempts to grab you, yell and scream — draw attention to yourself— as you immediately try to get away. Keep yelling to draw attention. Although the person may tell the child not to say a word when approaching them, continue to yell, scream, and draw attention as you flee.
- Keep iPads, tablets, laptops, cell phones, and other high-value items lower profile while walking to and from school, on public transportation, etc. Kids should not make themselves a target for robbery by individuals seeking out tech and other items to steal.
- Remember that 911 calls do not require a coin fee and typically can be made from pay phones for free if a pay phone is available and a call can be made by the child. Immediately tell teachers, parents, and other responsible adults about the incident. Try to remember color and types of cars, license plates, what the person looked like (gender, race, hair color, clothing description, etc.).
Questions or additional suggestions may be directed to Ken Trump.