As there have been reports of strangers approaching children in the areas of Blue Creek and Forts Ferry elementary schools, I am encouraging all parents throughout the district to remind their children to be safe and vigilant as they walk to and from school, bus stops and their homes. In addition, we have reminded our staff in each of the elementary buildings to review basic safety precautions with our students and to remind them to report any incidents to school personnel.
Help us keep your children safe by reminding them of how to handle a potentially dangerous situation with a stranger. Should a student be approached by a stranger in a vehicle they should yell “No!”, run away in the direction opposite the vehicle is facing as quickly and safely as possible, then tell a parent, police officer, school official or other trusted adult.
In addition, the National Crime Prevention Council lists a number of things parents can do to help their children stay safe and avoid dangerous situations:
•Know where your children are at all times. Make it a rule that your children must ask permission or check in with you before going anywhere. Give your children your work and cell phone numbers so they can reach you at all times.
•Point out safe places. Show your children safe places to play, safe roads and paths to take, and safe places to go if there’s trouble.
•Teach children to trust their instincts. Explain that if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable, they should get away as fast as they can and tell an adult. Tell them that sometimes adults they know may make them feel uncomfortable, and they should still get away as fast as possible and tell another adult what happened. Reassure children that you will help them when they need it.
• Teach your children to be assertive. Make sure they know that it’s okay to say no to an adult and to run away from adults in dangerous situations.
• Encourage your children to play and walk with others. There’s safety in numbers!
Be assured, the safety of our students is the main priority of the North Colonie Central School District, and we are working closely with the Colonie Police Department to monitor the situation and prevent future incidents. We remain committed to working with the Colonie Police Department, our community resources, and you to ensure the safety of all our students.
D. Joseph Corr
Superintendent of Schools
North Colonie Central School District