GALENA PARK, Texas – Officials with Galena Park Independent School District are warning students and parents after a “stranger danger” situation that recently happened.
Superintendent John Moore sent out a letter Thursday to make everyone in the GPISD community aware after a student in the seventh grade said he was approached by an unknown man.
According to Moore, the student exited the school bus near Strick Lane and Dunaway Street and was walking home when a bearded man, described by the student as light-skinned and driving a blue GMC truck, yelled, “What size shoes do you wear?”
Moore said the student reportedly ignored the man and he yelled, “Hey, do you want some shoes?” The student said he responded, “What kind of shoes?” The man told the student the type of shoes and the student declined the offer, Moore said.
The teen told district officials the man stopped the truck and began walking toward him. The student then ran away, Moore said. As cars drove up behind the GMC truck, the man got back in the truck and sped away, according to Moore.
“Thankfully, the student made it home and reported the incident to his mother,” Moore said. “His mother immediately contacted the Galena Park Police Department to file a report. She also contacted the student’s home campus to alert the administrative team of the incident.”
The district is asking parents to discuss the situation with their children so they know how to respond, should they ever find themselves in a similar circumstance.
“We do not want to alarm them, but we want to remind them to be alert and prepared,” Moore said.
GPISD says these are safety reminders for students to be aware of:
- Try to walk with a group of friends.
- Watch for things that are happening around you.
- Never go near a stranger’s car.
- Never accept candy or a ride from a stranger.
- Never tell strangers you are going home to an empty house.
Report anything unusual immediately to a trusted adult if a parent is not available – police officers, teachers, principals, firefighters, a store clerk, or a security guard.
Here are a few statements commonly used to get children to go with a stranger:
- Can you give me directions?
- I lost my dog/cat/pet. Can you help me find him?
- There is an emergency, and your mom/dad wants you to come with me.
- I have candy. Would you like some?
- Let’s play a game.