Maui News

Kids at Kahului Schools Reminded to Practice “Stranger Danger”

October 30, 2015, 1:34 PM HST
* Updated October 30, 5:12 PM
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Kahului Elementary School. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Kahului Elementary School. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Children attending at least two Central Maui schools were sent home with safety reminders following a report from a concerned neighbor who reportedly observed a child being followed by a man while walking to Kahului Elementary School on Thursday morning.

In a letter to parents, one principal referenced the incident saying the neighbor intervened, took the child to school, and reported that the man left the area.

Maui Police responded to our request for comment on Thursday, saying they are still looking into the incident.

This afternoon the Maui Police Department released further information saying, “On October 29, 2015, a bystander reported that an unknown adult male in a white 4Runner was allegedly following a juvenile male as he walked down the road near Maui High School.”

Maui Police say, the bystander escorted the juvenile male to Kahului School and later reported the incident to police.  According to police reports, officers canvased the area and were unable to locate the vehicle.

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Administrators at Kahului Elementary School could not comment on the report, but did say children were reminded to practice general safety when walking  to or from school by walking in a group, with a buddy or an adult.  Administrators confirmed that parents of students at the school also received both an email and letter yesterday relating to general safety.

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Following the report, Maui Now learned that school administrators at the nearby Lihikai Elementary also issued letters to parents and guardians advising that kids practice safety, exercise “Stranger Danger,” and be aware of their surroundings.

The incident was referenced in a letter to parents in which administrators said, “Safety for all children is our most important concern, and so we felt it was important to notify our families as well.”

Maui Now obtained a copy of the letter, which also stated, “Today, we reminded all students about being safe, and to practice Stranger Danger when walking without adults.  Please talk to your children about safety and walking with a buddy.”

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The letter also reminded parents to practice safety when trick-or-treating this weekend.

The Maui Police Department responded to our request by providing a few helpful tips regarding “Stranger Danger” and “Halloween” as listed below:

“STRANGER DANGER”

  • NEVER go anywhere with somebody that you don’t know or don’t trust. Stay away from strangers’ cars.
  • NEVER take anything from a stranger even if it is something personal that belongs to you.
  • NEVER talk to a stranger even if they know your name. If they try to talk to you, keep walking or run away from them.
  • ALWAYS stay with a friend and use the “buddy system”.
  • ALWAYS make sure somebody knows where you are going and when you will be back.

“HALLOWEEN SAFETY”

  • Make sure you have a flashlight while Trick Or Treating during the evening or at night.
  • Always walk with your parents/guardian/trusted adult.
  • When crossing the street, look both ways.
  • Never walk in the middle of the street.
  • Make sure your parents check you candies before you eat them.
  • Where bright costumes or some type of flashing/blinking lights or reflective tape.
  • Don’t talk to strangers.
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