Arlington police chief, superintendent talk to students about staying safe

Posted Monday, May. 27, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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In the city where one of the nation’s most infamous unsolved child abduction cases occurred 17 years ago, the police chief and the school superintendent spent a few minutes last week talking with students about how to stay safe as summer approaches.

Nine-year-old Amber Hagerman’s name wasn’t mentioned during the assembly Thursday for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at Ashworth Elementary in south Arlington. But the goal of the conversation led by Police Chief Will Johnson and Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos was to make sure the students understand the difference between trustworthy and untrustworthy adults and what to do if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation.

The program, called Take 25, is meant to foster communication between parents and children. It’s part of National Missing Children’s Day, observed May 25.

“It’s really important to always be on the lookout,” Johnson told the students after asking them about their summer plans. He reminded them about using the buddy system, avoiding strange adults who approach them and whom to alert if they sense something wrong.

He also touched on staying safe while playing games online or surfing the Internet. If a stranger wants to chat, he said, “don’t ever give them your address. You never want to give them your phone number. You never want to tell them who you are.”

Cavazos, the educator that he is, gave students homework. “Today we are talking to you about [staying safe] because it’s important. We really want you to talk to your parents about it. Spend some time with them. Do it today if you can.”

Patrick M. Walker, 682-232-4674 Twitter: @patrickmwalker1

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