Stranger danger. What we teach our children—don’t ever go with a stranger or anyone without your parent knowing whom you’re with—where you’re going. You’ve pounded this information into your children, every scenario you can think of.
But what happens when your child is on a school bus. This is after school, and the bus is still on school grounds. The bus drivers on the bus too, waiting for the rest of the kids who are still filing out of school. A fellow parent steps on the bus with their child. This parent stands beside the bus driver and says to your child, “Do you want to come over and play with Jane today?” Of course, your child says yes, because they’re with safe people or so they thought. The bus driver has seen this parent around. Maybe this parent works in the school. And the bus driver lets your child off the bus with a smile and a wave to go with this other parent.
At this point, let me ask you has the hair raised on the back of your neck? Well it should have. Because at what point were you consulted? Were you asked? And did you even know?
This parent then takes your child to their home, and its then you get a phone call from your child—from this parents’ house. You’re speechless. You ask the other parent to be put on the phone. You know her, but cannot believe she’d take your child off the school bus—take her home without speaking with you first—without your permission, no matter how small the community. Add to that the bus driver, who smiled and let her go.
After a sleepless night you address the matter, because your gut, those instincts that have saved you time and again are warning you to not let this matter go, no matter how innocent everyone is playing it up to be.
You speak with the bus driver first thing in the morning. His response—he has seen this parent around school. Thought she was nice and that a play date had been arranged with you. Of course he apologies profusely and assures you it will not happen again. But this is your child so how assured are you going to be?
You show up at the school and speak with the fellow parent who works at the school. Her response, she didn’t realize there was a protocol and sees nothing wrong. Your child has been at her house many times. It’s her—she’s not a stranger. After all the bus driver let her go. And when they went back in the school to call you, the lineup for the telephone was too long.
Maybe it’s time for a refresher. For every school— every community— every parent and child. Ask yourself this question. Would your child go with someone they know? Your child your school and local police have been far too slack. Don’t listen to lip service from the school, or your local police, especially if you’re a single mom. I’ve seen way too many single mothers not given the respect they deserve. Find out how the school, police would respond? Check it out—how vigilant are they? Ask your local police, and yourself, how many abductions happen from someone the family knows?