DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Public Schools sent two letters home to parents this week alerting them to reports of a man offering rides to students. Denver police are investigating the two incidents, which happened this week.
On Wednesday, school officials said a student was approached as they walked to the bus stop. A man in a white car with red letters drove up to the child and said he was sent by Denver Public Schools to take the student to the bus stop. The child got into the car and was driven to the bus stop, where they were let out safely.
On Thursday, three DPS students reported a similar incident to officials. The students said a man in a white car with red letters that spelled “DPS” on the front doors offered the students a ride. The students refused and the man drove away.
DPS Transportation Services does not provide this type of service. If you see a vehicle matching this description, call the police non-emergency number at 720-913-2000.
In a letter to families, Hamilton Middle School Principal Christian Sawyer, Ed.D. stated, “I encourage you to take this chance to talk with your child about contacting an adult immediately if they ever feel unsafe, confirming after-school arrangements together and showing your child how to dial 911 from a cell phone or public phone if he or she ever feels unsafe.”
Denver Public Schools released the following safety tips for students and their families:
- Teach your children to use the buddy system and to walk with a friend or sibling whenever possible.
- Know where your child is all times. Establish good communication with children to ensure they readily will report to you any unusual occurrences.
- If strangers approach them, they should take several steps backward, stay out of arm’s reach and run to a safe area. If they are confronted, they should be taught to scream “I’m not your child” or “You’re not my parent.” Many times children forget to scream.
- Make sure children learn to identify safe people such as police officers and firefighters. Show them where safe homes or buildings are in case they need to run to them. Identify which neighbors are available to help when you are not at home. In an emergency, children should run to the nearest house for assistance. They should avoid alleys and empty lots, houses or garages.
- Parents and children should establish a password known only to the immediate family. Children should be told not to go with an unfamiliar person without using the password.
- Parents should notify both the school and the police if an incident occurs anywhere or anytime.