Dear Harvey Milk Community:
I want to let you know about an incident that occurred this morning at the start of school on Monday, September 12, 2016.
Before school, at approximately 8:00 a.m., a student was followed into the cafeteria by a man who introduced himself to a before school staff member from the YMCA as the student’s uncle and asked what time school let out. Though this man knew the student’s first name, the staff member asked the student if the student knew the man and the student responded that he did not. The man left the building. The staff member immediately called the police and contacted the student’s parents.
Fortunately, our staff and SFPD all know what the man looks like and we will be filing for a restraining order. In the meantime, the YMCA staff will be posted at the door and we have asked SFPD to increase patrol in the mornings.
We will be bringing in developmentally appropriate lessons for students that address the importance of reporting any behavior by others that makes them feel unsafe or uncomfortable and how to respond if approached by a stranger who may be threatening. You can help your children as well by sharing with them some strategies that they can use to stay safe. Included with this letter are some tips excerpted from Know the Rules...General Tips for Parents and Guardians to Help Keep Their Children Safer.
This incident can understandably bring up difficult feelings for all of us. Your child’s safety and learning is our top priority at Harvey Milk. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Ron Machado, Principal
What Parents and Guardians Can Teach their Children to Help Keep Them Safe
- If you are in a public place, and you get separated from your parents, grandparents, or guardians don't wander around looking for them. Go to a checkout counter, the security office, or the lost and found and quickly tell the person in charge that you have lost your family and need help in finding them.
- You should not get into a car or go anywhere with any person unless your parents, grandparents, or guardians have told you that it is okay.
- Grownups and others who need help should not be asking children for help; they should be asking older people.
- No one should be asking you for directions or to look for a "lost puppy" or telling you that your family is in trouble and that he or she will take you to them.
- If someone tries to take you somewhere, quickly get away from him (or her) and yell or scream, "This man/woman is trying to take me away," or "This person is not my father/mother/grandmother/grandfather/guardian."
- No one should ask you to keep a secret. If he or she does, tell your parents, grandparents, guardians, or teacher.