Administrators at Maui Waena Intermediate School sent a letter home to parents of students on Wednesday warning them about an incident where a man waved to students, beckoning them to approach the vehicle he was driving near campus.
The incident was reported at around 7:10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 on Palama Drive, according to the letter from school principal Jacquelyn McCandless.
Two students who were walking to school reported being approached by an “unknown older male” who was operating a vehicle that was described as an older-model, gray Mazda Miata.
According to the letter, the students ran to school and reported the incident to school staff.
McCandless writes that the Maui Police Department was notified and an investigation is currently underway.
The letter was sent as a precaution to encourage parents to continue to speak to their children regarding measures to stay safe, and specifically about “stranger danger.”
Some tips offered by school administrators include the following:
- Stay away from strangers. Do not talk to or take anything from them.
- Do not go anywhere with someone you don’t know. Never accept a ride from a stranger.
- Stay more than an arm’s reach from strangers. If a stranger approaches you, seek help immediately from a trusted adult.
- Use the buddy system. Avoid walking anywhere alone.
- If a stranger grabs you, do whatever it takes to stop the stranger and yell for help.
- Report any suspicious activity to a trusted adult.
- Be alert of your surroundings and let others know where you will be and what time you will be back.
- Teach children to make sure to get permission from parents or guardians before going anywhere;
- Children should be taught to be aware of their surroundings;
- Inform children that it’s okay to say “no” and get away as quickly as possible if someone does or says something that makes them feel uncomfortable and to report the incident to a trusted adult;
- Talk to children and let them know who the trusted adults are in their lives;
- If possible, children should use the buddy system when playing or going somewhere;
- Abductors often deceive children into being compliant and going with them by offering incentives such as pets, candy and toys;
- Teach your children to inform you right away if they are approached by a stranger who offers them something or pays special interest in them;
- Role play with your children and regularly discuss different scenarios with them.