In light of a sexual predator's attempted attack on two boys near Ladera Ranch Elementary School on Sunday night, principals across Capistrano Unified are reminding parents to pass along safety tips to their children.
Neighboring Saddleback Valley Unified School District alerted parents to the incident through an email on Monday, and some schools reviewed their "Stranger Danger" program with students.
Sheriff's officials say two boys, both 12, were playing on a swing set when they were approached by a man with a 3- to 4-inch pocket knife. One boy escaped to get help, while the other was dragged by the attacker about 10-15 feet.
The attacker ordered him to take off his pants, which the boy did. He then ordered the boy to remove his boxers. The boy threw wood chips into the kidnapper's face and ran away, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
In light of that, Capistrano Unified officials offer these tips:
- Children should not get into a car or go anywhere with any person unless their parents have told them specifically that it’s OK. CUSD students may ride home only with parents or people listed on the emergency card. If you have a carpool, please inform the office to update the emergency card.
- If someone follows your child on foot or in a car, the child should stay away from the person. Don’t go near the car or get inside it. Get to a crowded, well-lit place where others can help.
- Don’t go anywhere with a stranger. Don’t respond to anyone you don’t know well, even if the person asks for directions, solicits help to look for a lost puppy, or says your mother or father is in trouble.
- If someone tries to take a child somewhere, quickly get away from him or her and yell: "This man (woman) is trying to take me away" or "This person is not my father (or mother)."
- Kids should always use the buddy system. Go with a friend, never alone.
- Children are strong, and they have the right to say NO to someone who tries to take them somewhere, or makes them feel uncomfortable in any way.