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Original post made
on Oct 31, 2007
Why are only Gunn students being warned about walking alone? Shouldn't all students of all schools be given this advice? This incedent HAPPENED to happen to a Gunn student, but that is CERTAINLY not the only school exposed. There have been a lot of abductions and attempted abductions that I have seen recently all over the bay area.
Perhaps the schools and parents should re-hach the story of Little Red Riding Hood and remember that "the big bad wolf" was not a really a wolf. Older kids should see some recent headlines, carefully chosen and edited. I would rather have them a little scared than have them exposed.
I have had email similarly from Paly telling me that Paly students have been warned the same. I have also had email from JLS and Palo Verde where I also have kids alerting me to the situation.
I think all our schools are taking this seriously, reminding everyone that a Castilleja student was approached recently and alerting parents to what happened yesterday.
This is a community situation, not a Gunn situation and the community as a whole are being alerted.
I am relieved that the warning is more widly circulated than indicated by the news report. That report made it sound like only Gunn students were warned.
I wonder if this is a community issue, it seems to be societal, not linked to any one small community. Self-preservation should be stressed as a matter of course in all schools.
I have now had a recorded message from Palo Alto PD alerting me of the situation and advising me to watch my kids particularly during trick or treat times and assuring me that there will be more police presence around the schools today and around the neighborhoods this evening.
I assume that they have got my phone number from the schools lists.
We got a similar msg from the PAPD - I think they are alerting everyone in the town and not just the families with kids.
I noticed an increased police presence around the elementary school this morning. I was wondering why that was the case - when I heard about this incident.
After the Castilleja incident, I called the Rec Dept, the YMCA and PAMF to find out about self-defense classes for teens. The only resource I found was Bay Area Impact, which is in the East Bay. Fortunately, they are holding a class at Cubberley Dec 1-2 for 12-16 year olds. The first class is almost fill, but if enough kids sign up, they will open another class.
510.208.0474 / www.impactbayarea.org
Around 11:30AM today, I, too got a call from PAPD's "CANS" or Reverse 911 system. The City of Palo bought this year a new community alerting system and is starting to get eveyone in town to update their telephone contact info. Will be interesting to see how the new system is used.
how do you get on that city phone system? We have an unlisted number and haven't been called in past (loose wild animal near our home a few years back...) We can't be the only ones with an unlisted #.
[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Another self-defense group for kids (and adults) that is more local than the East Bay one is KidPower. They also offer TeenPower. My daughter took this last summer. It was offered at El Carmelo. Unfortunately, I see that their next local class, in Los Altos, is full.
But they will offer custom classes to groups who request them.
As I have reiterated previously on the Town Square, over and over, months and months now, I think the Palo Alto Police Department needs to have the old "Flatfoot patrol" reinstated ..(bikes are ok also if wanted)............Around schools, in business areas..........
Something like this MAY have been avoided. I feel like the proverbial broken record. I am but one small voice. Can anyone hear me??????? Please pass this on, think SERIOUSLY about it. Maybe it will click it's way to the top. Wondering if the Chief of Police ever reads what the public thinks in all of the crime postings here in the Town Square...
I've been thinking this might very well have been my own child on Tuesday, but for the grace of $1.50 and the soon-to-vanish VTA 88 bus.
My own 17-year-old, who cannot have the luxury of "parental commuting" due to work hours, and who for various legitimate reasons is not always able to bicycle to school, would have been walking home from Gunn on Tuesday along Arastradero had she not managed to scrounge $1.50 that day.
The last thing I've heard about the 88 bus, is that as of the likely dark, cold and rainy date of January 14th, our children will no longer have that as a commute option. Just ducky.
I am stunned that this happened on a fairly busy street in the middle of a weekday afternoon, in a town I thought was worth paying two arms and a leg to move to - to have, among other things, a greater sense of safety for our children, at least at certain locations and hours.
Amazing how the city can find $10k to name the downtown square after the Kings, but only afford $5k to find the suspect in a grotesquely brutal rape case.
Thanks to Behest, Kleinberg, Barton, Dreckenmeier, and Cordell for exposing their incredibly weak leadership, misguided sense of purpose, and thorough incompetence as civic leaders, with this astonishing non-response.
I think it is worth asking all the city candidates and school board candidates for that matter, how they propose making the streets safer for our school children.
I think we must do something about transport as a top priority. Granted all kids will not be able to use buses, but making plenty of buses available on a pay per trip basis rather than the free shuttle we currently have, is something worth pursuing. This must be done as we will lose the 88 bus soon for many kids. Another thing to remember is that Arastadero is slated to become two lanes and that means that there will be less cars at any one spot to see something like this and if four lanes can't see a kidnapping, how can two lanes.
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