Town Square

Paly teacher finds toddlers in the street

Original post made on Feb 14, 2008

A Palo Alto High School teacher on her lunch break saw two unattended toddlers in the street around noon Wednesday while she was driving back to school after going to the downtown Post Office.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 14, 2008, 9:44 AM


Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2008 at 9:54 am

This is what real community is all about.

I am so glad that this had a happy ending. There but for the grace of God go many of us.......

Like this comment
Posted by Randy
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Feb 14, 2008 at 10:07 am

What a nightmare. I've got 2 little ones and we have had our fair share of close calls. Everyone does. Being a parent requires having at least 4 eyes, and yet most of us only have 2 eyes. I'm so thankful everything turned out fine.

Like this comment
Posted by done
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 14, 2008 at 1:38 pm

ive done same good samaritan work, including preventing a homicide of a non white person who had a child of their own at home, but of course , the police didnt even search for the assaulters!!

Like this comment
Posted by aus
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Feb 14, 2008 at 1:50 pm

austalia ''apologized'' to downpressed ''aborigines'', but great ''america'' doesent have the GUTS to apologize to any african ancestry person in its well documented genocidal SLAVERY.

Like this comment
Posted by Michael
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm

I don't see what Australia's apology has to do with this...

Find the right place to voice your redundant opinions, please.

Like this comment
Posted by captain kid
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2008 at 6:45 pm

the way I see it is like this-
if you see children in potential danger/harm-
help them out-
to do otherwise is NEGLIGENCE-
let's not reward folks for what should be expected-
and let's not beg for participants online with overly dramatic headings-
it gets boring after a while-
ever heard of the boy who cried wolf?

Like this comment
Posted by Must be a kid
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 14, 2008 at 7:31 pm

I hope the Captain is a kid - that's a pretty silly opinion for an adult to express.

Tip o' the hat to Ms. Wixsom! While it may seem "obvious" what to do in this kind of situation, it isn't. Usually other people are just whizzing by, oblious. I once had a somewhat similar incident, bringing a wandering 3-year-odl back from an unattended parking lot to a parent inside her apartment; the parent seemed totally unfazed, didn't even hang up the phone to bring the child inside. So it takes a small act of courage to do the right thing. Glad this has been given some visbility.

Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2008 at 8:16 pm

It is true that very few people put themselves out to help others. When my daughter was a toddler I "lost" her at Mitchell Park play area while I was putting away the lunch I had brought with us. I was very pregnant at the time and started frantically looking all over the park for her. No one I asked actually did anything to help. This was before cell phones and no one offered me any help. I eventually found her walking round Fairmeadow as she had seen some bigger kids playing basketball and wanted to join in.

The whole episode was over in about 30 minutes, but I realised that it takes a village and sometimes it depends on the willingness of the village to help.

Like this comment
Posted by captain kid
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2008 at 7:57 am

does this mean your voting for hillarity?

Like this comment
Posted by Mom
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2008 at 2:24 pm

I agree with Parent. It's definitely not a given that people will help. Every situation gets judged through the lens of how busy or in a hurry someone is, and the likelihood that getting involved will be safe or accomplish anything. It's just impossible to know for sure without stopping, and that's a gamble people often aren't willing to take.

The other day, I witnessed a kid take a bad tumble on his bike. I couldn't tell if he was hurt, and I knew if I stopped, I would make my own child late for school. I stopped nevertheless - was probably no help at all, the kid did look hurt but not badly, fixed his own bike chain, and got going to school - but I thought it was important to remain there until I was sure, so that I could call his parents or for medical help if needed. If I had kept going, he would have been just fine, but I didn't know that when I witnessed the fall.

The point is, these situations are often not obvious, and people weigh whether to stop through the lens of whatever immediate rush they are in.

This teacher may very well have saved the lives of those toddlers. Whether she did or not, she set a good example.

Like this comment
Posted by Agree with captain kid
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2008 at 7:01 pm

Captain kid is right, helping out a child in distress or in danger should be normal behavior by adults. The adult here did the right thing and we thank her, but what's with making a federal case out of it?
Mommies are watching too many tv programs about abducted children. The tv producers know how to get their attention. So they live in fear and paranoia. I am reluctant to smile at a child lest the mother misinterpret it.

Like this comment
Posted by Mayfield Child
a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 17, 2008 at 8:12 pm

I assume my mother was going to teach my sister and I a lesson, but it backfired on her..........When I was around 3 and my sister 5 years old, we must have been making too much noise (I really can't remember what the problem could have been!). My mother decided to make us both sit outside on our back porch together to get a grip/behave. It was about 7pm. About 7:03 my sister alerted me to the sounds of someone in the garage next door and wanted to check out her curiosity. I followed her to the corner of the yard and through the fence by our bedroom. There, in the huge garage, our neighbor had set up an elaborate Train set...smoke and all! We were thrilled! Time slipped by. My mother started to panic when she went back (time frame about 4 to 5 minutes) to have us come in ....She went in the house to get my father, who was talking on the phone. It was our neighbor telling him we were there. She didn't take long to find us. The train was tooting the horn, blowing smoke and making train track noises. There were several other neighbors there watching the grand event also. Our "neighborhood watch" was a good thing. People watching out for people, no matter what their age.
Ah, all's well that ends well. No spanking for us and no heartbreak for Mom. RIP.