Stranger near Spokane Valley school prompts child safety talks - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Stranger near Spokane Valley school prompts child safety talks

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SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -

A report of suspicious activity near a Spokane Valley school is prompting officials to encourage parents to have safety talks with their kids.

This note was sent by the school to those with children in the area:

"May 16, 2016 Dear Parent/Guardian, Our number one priority is the safety of our students. Therefore, we are sharing information about incidents that occurred near Pasadena Park Elementary School on May 12 and 13. A man in a vehicle slowed down and watched a group of teenagers as they walked toward home from the school. He returned several times and slowed down each time he drove by. The same situation happened again the next day and it was reported to the Pasadena Park Principal. The incident has been reported to our School Resource Deputy and is under investigation. The man is described as being in his early to mid-30 with dark colored hair with a buzz cut. The vehicle is a tan/gold colored 2 or 4 door sedan. In light of this situation, please review safety instructions with your child reminding them: Use the “buddy system” and walk in pairs whenever possible Do not talk to strangers Do not get in a car with a stranger Report any suspicious incident to school officials and/or call 911 Thank you for your assistance in our efforts to insure the safety of our students.

Deputy Mark Gregory said while there is no need to panic, it is a good reminder to open up those lines of communication with our kids.

"It's important for people to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings but not fearful," he said. "We should talk to our kids. We should have that discussion so they know what to do."

Gregory recommends making sure your kid is always with a friend. He also said it's a good idea to walk the route your kid will take with them. Point out potential dangers, and show your child how to dodge them. Finally, he said it's smart to pick at least one trusted house or even business in the middle of their path that they can flee to if something isn't right.

Gregory said the biggest danger to our kids is traffic. He said the most important thing you can do as a parent is stress the importance of simply being aware of your surroundings. 

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