Boy brings knife to elementary school to ward off potential abductors

After hearing about someone trying to abduct a child in a suburban Lake Worth neighborhood earlier this week, a boy at Coral Reef Elementary decided to take safety into his own hands and packed a knife in his backpack and took it with him to school, school district officials report.

2011 file photo

School administrators discovered his concerns and confiscated the knife without incident.

“At no time did the student take the knife out of the backpack,” Principal Bobbi Moretto assured parents in a recorded phone call that went out Wednesday evening.

Moretto’s phone call made no mention of the attempted abduction reported by Palm Beach County Sheriff’s officials the day before.

But the call arrived in the evening after the school sent home a written note to parents that began: “The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office reminds parents to talk to their children about independent safety when they are playing in the neighborhood and/or on their way to or from school.”

While neither the note nor the call directly connected the child’s actions to the abduction attempt, a district spokeswoman confirmed the boy’s motivation Friday.

“His intent was to protect himself. He was afraid of what he had heard,” Amity Schuyler said.

The incident that drove his fear was reported to have happened Monday about 2 miles south of Coral Reef Elementary School in the Lake Charleston neighborhood, just east of Florida’s Turnpike and south of Hypoluxo Road.

Sheriff’s detectives say a child said he was playing in the 7300 block of Zurich Circle at about 3:45 p.m. when a man got out of a white van and approached the boy without saying anything. Further details are scant. The investigation continues.

WHAT TO DOhandcuffs

 

But the letter home to parents advises parents have a conversation with their children and hit these points:

Tell children to take action. Point out places they could seek help on their routes to and from the park and school.

Tell them to travel in a group or with a friend.

Warn them against taking rides  or changing plans without your permission

Alert them to the tricks would-be abductors use such as offering money or asking children for help.

Encourage children to tell a trusted adult when something or someone makes them uncomfortable.

And call crime stoppers if you have information about a crime… 1-800-458-TIPS (8477).

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