As I have mentioned before Little Reader is in third grade and technically old enough to walk to school on her own (according to the school rules). She is also allowed to escort her sister who is in first grade. Some of her friends walk to and from no problem and she often asks me if she can too. We only live 3 blocks from school and I will admit it would be nice to just say goodbye at the front door and send them on their way (instead of rushing to try and get everyone ready and me showered and out the door in time). Still, I'm not ready to do it yet. So far I've mostly used the reason that since I do stay home, there's really no reason why I can't walk them to school, so I just do it. I tell my daughters that I trust them, but I don't trust the crazy people in the world.
Some mornings there is a police cruiser parked on a side street by my daughters school. I'm not sure if they are there for traffic safety assistance or what since the officer usual stays in their vehicle.
Thursday morning as I was turning the corner where the officer was parking his car, we saw a woman approach the car and ask to speak with him. I couldn't hear the conversation, but noticed the officer enter the school through a side door after he finished talking to the woman. I thought that was odd, but figured it was really none of my business.
That afternoon I was looking something up on the school website and noticed an alert regarding suspicious behavior. It mentioned that a student had been walking to school when a car pulled up next to him, asked if he attended the school. When the kid answered yes, the driver asked if the kid wanted a ride. The kid said no, kept walking then stopped into a friend's house that was between the car and school, and told his friend's Mom what had happened. I assume the woman I saw was the mom in that house.
So the good news is the kid is fine cause they did the right thing. We've gotten these kinds of alerts before but this is the first time I actually told my kids about it. We have talked about strangers before and how to respond if approached. I recently found this post on Pinterest and thought it did a good job of explaining how to talk to your kids, about strangers and "tricky people". I've read the ten rules with my kids before but a refresher is always a good idea. Even though we do live in a pretty safe area, a healthy dose of fear is a good thing. It helps give you street smarts.
I'm all for raising confident and independent kids, but a parents number one job is keeping their kids safe, and for now and at least for this school year, I will be walking my kids to school. We'll revisit it next year.