On October 19, 2021, a resident of the Rome area reported that their child was approached by an unknown male with a white beard in a tan/gray pick-up truck. This individual attempted to lure the child into the vehicle but was confronted by the parent and quickly sped off.
This is a reminder to all community members, to be diligent and mindful of your surroundings and speak to your child on what to do if approached by a stranger and how to react.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recommends teaching your child the following tips to help prevent abduction:
- Stay away from strangers. Explain what makes a person a stranger. Note that even someone with a familiar face is a stranger if you do not know him or her well.
- Stay away from anyone who is following you on foot or in a car. Don't get close to them or feel as though you must answer any questions they ask you.
- Run and scream if someone tries to force you to go somewhere with them or tries to push you into a car.
- Memorize a secret code word. Tell your child not to go with anyone under any circumstances unless that person also knows this code word.
- Adults should not ask children for help. For example, a child should not trust grown-ups who ask kids for directions or for help finding a puppy or kitten.
- Ask for help when you are lost. If you get lost in a public place, immediately ask someone who works there for help.
- Always ask for permission before going anywhere with anybody. Ask a parent or the grown-up in charge before leaving the yard or play area, or before going into someone's home. Do not accept any unplanned offers for a ride—from someone known or unknown.
- Always tell a parent where you are going, how you will get there, who is going with you, and when you will be back. Be home at the agreed-upon time or else find a way to contact home directly.
Please take some family time tonight to go over the prevention tips listed above, and teach your children to become aware of dangerous people and the lures they use to entice them. Please be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious behavior to the police.
William J. Clark, Superintendent