A third grader at Balboa Elementary may have avoided being kidnapped Wednesday morning, a school official said.
Two men in a car approached the girl, who was walking to school. The men followed the girl and told her, “We want to show you something,” said Balboa Elementary School’s principal Fabiola Bogola.
Keeping in mind the lessons she learned in school, the girl fled the car and asked the closest neighbor, Josefina Hernandez, for help. When Hernandez determined the girl was okay, her son drove the girl to school.
“She was very calm for her age, and she knew what she had to do,” Hernandez said. “You could tell that she was a little shaken up.”
A similar incident near the school occurred last year, and prompted staff and teachers to educate students on what to do if a stranger approaches them. They brought in a full-time community service officer to work with the students on safety tactics.
The officer told students to either yell “fire” – but not “help” – if a stranger approached them, or ask for help from anyone close by.
Bogola will be sending letters home to all parents, urging them to be on high alert and serve as extra eyes for the safety of their kids.
As for the girl in Wednesday's incident, her parents told Bogola they will now be driving the child to and from the school.