An alert has been issued to families warning of a group of men that reportedly attempted to abduct a middle school girl who was waiting to go to school at a bus stop in Farmingdale.
A parent reported to school administrators at Weldon E. Howitt Middle School that at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28, a group of six Hispanic men in a late model black Hyundai Elantra without hubcaps approached a child at the Lewis and Phillip Drive bus stop.
Officials described the driver as a bald man wearing an orange shirt. The men opened the door of the vehicle in an attempt to bring the student into the vehicle, prompting the girl to scream out, sending the car speeding away.
The incident has been reported to the Nassau County Police Department and the school’s administration.
“Farmingdale continues to be a safe place to live and work,” Principal Luis Pena wrote to parents. “However, it is always a good idea to periodically review safety concerns with your children. Whether walking to and from school, riding their bikes or going to the park, it is extremely important that we teach our children to be aware of their surroundings at all times in order to keep themselves safe.
“We ask that you have a conversation with your children about not talking with strangers and insist they bring any concerns they might have to an adult in school or at home as soon as possible.”
In response to the incident, the district offered some tips for parents to help keep students safe:
- Teach your children that if anyone bothers them or makes them feel scared or uncomfortable, to trust their feelings and immediately get away from that person. Teach them that it is ok not to be polite and IT IS OK TO SAY NO;
- Teach your children to never talk to or accept gifts from strangers;
- Teach your children that grownups should NOT ASK CHILDREN FOR DIRECTIONS; they should ask other adults;
- Teach your children never to approach a vehicle and NOT TO ACCEPT A RIDE from anyone unless you have said it is ok in that instance. If anyone follows them in a vehicle they should turn around, go in the other direction, and run to a trusted adult who may help them.
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