The following is a letter from Superintendent Dr. Maureen Long:
“Dear Parent & Families,
The Menands Police Department and the Menands School District are encouraging parents to review safety tips with their children after receiving a report of a vehicle following a Menands school bus.
The bus driver of Menands School Bus #1 (Durham bus 104) reported that a light blue or silver Subaru with two male occupants appeared to be following the bus on Tuesday, April 9 and Wednesday, April 10. We have not received any reports of the men approaching students.
This occurred on the south end of the village in the area of Hendrick Avenue, Amsterdam Avenue, Hampton Street and Hutton Street. Menands Police followed the bus yesterday afternoon and this morning, and nothing suspicious was recorded. We are fortunate to have a great working relationship with our village police department who escort our school buses on a regular basis.
The safety of all students is the district’s top priority, and as such, the district is reminding families to review the following safety tips with children of all ages. This information is aimed to keep children safe while traveling to or from school and other places in the community. Families are urged to review the information with their children and remind them of the importance of being cautious around strangers.
- Be present at the bus stop. Whenever possible, parents are encouraged to be present at the bus stop. This is a requirement for students in Kindergarten and Grade 1.
- Never walk alone. Walk with an adult family member, an older student or with a group of students.
- Know where your children are at all times. Make it a rule that your children must ask permission or check in with you before going anywhere. Give your children your work and cell phone numbers so they can always reach you.
- Point out safe places. Show your children safe places to play, safe roads and paths to take, and safe places to go if there’s trouble.
- Teach children to trust their instincts. Explain that if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable, they should get away as fast as they can and tell an adult. Tell them that sometimes adults they know may make them feel uncomfortable, and they should still get away as fast as possible and tell another adult what happened. Reassure children that you will help them when they need it.
- Teach your children to be assertive. Make sure they know that it’s okay to say no to an adult and to run away from adults in dangerous situations.
Menands police continue to investigate these reports in collaboration with Durham Bus Company and school officials. If you have any questions or information, please contact the Menands Police Department at 518-463-1681
Dr. Maureen A. Long