Teaching students how to execute "stranger danger" techniques is well-integrated into the Pleasantville Union Free School District curricula, according to Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter.
"We use age-appropriate activities," she explained.
Today, for example, first grade students read the book Don't Talk to Strangers.
At Pleasantville Middle School, Pleasantville Police Detective Jesse Wollman's youth officer role incorporates student safety into fifth grade health classes.
These lessons paid off yesterday after two middle school boys reported they were approached by a man driving a makeshift taxi in the afternoon.
Fox-Alter commended the students for leaving the area where they were approached—Washington Avenue near Manville Road—and notifying police of the incident.
"We are still looking to ID the vehicle and who was driving it," Pleasantville Police Chief Richard Love said Friday. "We don't believe any crime has occurred at this time."
Fox-Alter said in the schools, "We remind children never to interact with strangers and to keep a physical distance."
Students are also reminded not to accept gifts from strangers and to report any suspicious incidents to "a trusted adult" immediately.
The Superintendent sent out a K-12 alert yesterday afternoon to notify parents and community members know about the reported incident.
"As soon as we get something like that...we notify the schools," Love said.
Fox-Alter and Love both said the police department and school district have a "great relationship" and work together to keep the community informed of possible safety issues in Pleasantville or in surrounding communities.
Love noted the village board is also beginning to explore community-wide alert system options. At Monday's work session, for example, the board will review a webcast presentation of the Code Red Emergency Alert System.
Parents can also help enforce stranger danger protocol at home, Fox-Alter added.
"Encourage your child not to interact with strangers, keep a physical distance and be mindful when they are walking home from school or two and from the library," she said.