The following note was sent out by Nyack Superintendent Jim Montesano. In October, there was a
I want to share with you information regarding an incident that occurred on Storms Road in Valley Cottage yesterday afternoon at approximately 1 pm involving four of our Middle School students. While walking home in the direction of Route 303, the boys were approached by an adult man driving a dark sedan. The man attempted to engage the boys in conversation. The boys ignored the man and the car continued to follow them.
The boys ran into one of their homes and the car eventually left. The initial information describes the person as a white male, 30-40 years old with brown 'buzz' cut hair. The Clarkstown Police Department is currently investigating this incident.
I wanted to ensure that you were advised of the events that occurred, particularly in light of recent reports of luring incidents that have taken place in .
Please use this information as an opportunity to discuss basic safety reminders with your children in an age appropriate way. You may wish to consider some of the following:
- Discuss predatory lures that are commonly used, i.e. asking for assistance, lost pet, bribery, authority figures, faking an emergency about a family member, etc.
- Encourage your children to travel in groups, be aware of their surroundings and be alert.
- If your children are approached by a stranger they should not engage in a conversation or answer any questions and they should obviously never get into another person’s vehicle without parental consent.
- Other good tactics include three basic rules if engaged: "Drop" anything they are carrying that may slow them down, "holler" and make as much noise and commotion as possible and "run" to a safe location where there are other adults. Report any luring incidents by calling 911.
- Encourage your child to trust his/her intuition and take action if he/she senses danger. Tell your child not to worry about being polite, to make a lot of noise, and to run away, scream, shout, or punch back at anyone that approaches them physically. Teach the "NO-GO-TELL" system. Your child should: 1) Say NO if someone tries to touch her/him or make them feel scared or uncomfortable; 2) GO quickly away from the situation; and 3) TELL a trusted adult.
- When your child is old enough to go out alone, demand that he/she tell you the three W's—WHO I am going with; WHERE I will be; WHEN I will be returning home. Make sure your child informs you anytime plans may change.
- Establish home and phone safety rule. When your child is old enough to stay home alone, he/she should keep the door locked and never answer questions over the phone or at the door.
- Be aware of your child’s Internet activities. Predators use online chat rooms and other Internet resources to arrange face-to-face meetings with children. Many Internet service providers have parent-control options to block certain material from coming into your child's computer.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter. I will provide you with additional information, if and when we receive it from the Police Department(s).
Sincerely, James J. Montesano, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools