Remember when you were very young and your parents told you “don’t talk to strangers”, and even “don’t take candy from strangers”? I know I do… And frankly, in my head, I was mostly thinking “oh please, that doesn’t really happen in real life!” But after coming across this story out of Ontario, Canada, I realized that although it may be annoying to always hear them say it, it is certainly wise to listen! On March 30th, a young elementary school student was walking home from school when she realized that she were being followed by a woman in a car. The strange woman gradually stopped her car, got out, and – as cliche as this sounds – she offered the little girl candy. Thankfully, the child knew better than to accept the unknown woman’s offer. Read the full story below.
Following the shocking incident, the school board shared very basic but crucial advice for parents to remind children of all ages of. They wrote:
Wednesday, March 30th 2016
Dear parents and tutors,
As the health, safety and well-being of our students is a top priority, Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO) and École élémentaire publique Des Sentiers wish to inform you of an isolated case involving a student of a school in Orléans.
Yesterday morning, a student of École élémentaire catholique l’Étoile-de-l’Est was followed by a woman in her car. The woman came out of her car and offered candies to the student to lure her into her car. The student immediately left and reported the incident to an adult who notified the police.
As a precautionary measure, the CEPEO reminds all parents and tutors what are the security rules when traveling so they can be shared with their children:
– Always be assured that a parent or a guardian knows the walking or bus route and arriving time of your child;
– Do not talk to strangers;
– If an unknown adult tries to get your attention, do not approach him or his vehicle;
– Do not get into a stranger’s car;
– If you are being followed, go to a public place or a known residence or cry for help.
Thank you for your collaboration,
While as the school Director states, it’s important not to panic and to remember to treat this as an isolated incident, it’s still an incredibly important reminder to all parents all over the world that a child’s lessons start at home. Remember to teach your children never to approach unknown adults, or their cars.
Here is the original letter from the school.
I was shocked, saddened, but mainly just terrified by this story. I have a 6-year-old niece and the thought of that child having been her… It just profoundly shakes me. If you are a parent, then you certainly feel the same. I therefore urge you to remind your children of this – as unfortunate as it is, such isolated incidents do occur, and the last thing you want is to be the unlikely victim of it.
Please also share this important reminder and warning with all the parents you know. Hug and kiss your little angels today.
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