The Collier County Public School District is making some changes to protect its students, after a recent spike in reports of so-called "stranger danger" incidents throughout the county. Almost a dozen incidents have been reported by children in the past several weeks, in which men approach vulnerable kids and ask them to come with them, often in a vehicle.
A video released in the past week by the Collier County Sheriff's Office is being shown in schools throughout the county. In it, deputy talks to a young girl about tips children should know about strangers who may try to get familiar with them.
"So the people that are involved in the investigations are actually the ones that do stranger danger talks with our children," said Greg Turchetta, spokesman for Collier County Public Schools.
He said that since bus drivers are the first and last district employees to see students every day, drivers are being shown composite sketches of suspects in recent suspicious incidents.
Most of the recently reported incidents have taken place away from school, so Turchetta said parents need to stay involved in reminding kids about stranger safety, such as:
* Don't ever talk to strangers, or get a stranger's vehicle
* Use the "buddy system" when outside
* Report incidents to a parent or trusted adult
* Keep eyes open for suspicious-acting strangers
* Take notes about anything strange