I write to inform you of a troubling incident that transpired after school today. While one of our students was walking home from Central Middle School, she was approached by a man in a car who inappropriately exposed himself. The student did exactly what she should in that circumstance; she ran away and headed straight back to school for help. The police were informed immediately, and they have been scouring the area in search of the perpetrator.
As I am sure you know, there have been other recent incidents in San Mateo County involving school-age children being inappropriately approached (and even abducted) by strangers. In light of this, I ask that we all—parents and staff alike— keep a watchful eye out for all our children. I also ask that you take this opportunity to review with your children what they should do in situations like this. Most important, perhaps, is that students should not walk to or from school alone!
Over the past few weeks, the principals at all schools have been working with their staff to ensure that our students are protected during school hours. Please familiarize yourself and your children with the following school safety procedures.
(1) All volunteers/visitors must sign in at the office before entering campus. Visitors who are not parent volunteers or district/county employees must wear a “visitor sticker”. If you see an adult on campus who is not wearing a visitor’s sticker, or who for any reason seems suspicious to you, please tell a teacher or someone in the office.
(2) Adults are not to use the school bathrooms designated for students. Please ask at the front office where there are restrooms that are appropriate for adult use, please ask at the front office. If you see an adult in the children’s bathrooms, please let them know adults are not allowed to use the student bathrooms. If they do not leave, please contact the school office
(3) In the elementary school during school hours, children using the restroom will be sent in pairs, or will be within an adult’s vantage point while traveling to and from the restroom. It is a rule that students may not leave our classroom without permission from an adult. (4) Please help your children get into the habit of saying “goodbye” and making eye contact with the teacher before they are released to the adult picking them up, as drop off can be a very chaotic time.
(5) And, again (We cannot emphasize this one enough!), if your child walks, scoots, or bikes to school, she/he should not do so alone!
Together, we can reduce the risk of something terrible happening under our watch, so long as our routines are consistent, and we all do our part to protect our children. And, remember, all children are our children! If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Craig Baker, Superintendent