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Another Commack Student Approached by Stranger

A second child in the Middle School is offered a ride by an unknown man.

A second Commack Middle School student was recently approached by an unknown man while on her way to school last week, district officials announced.

According to a statement by Superintendent Donald James, the student was walking to school on Hearthstone Drive on Feb. 20, when an unknown man, wearing a red knit cap, stopped his car, described as either a gray Jeep or sports utility vehicle, and asked her, "Do you want a ride?"

The student promptly refused and reported what happened to a crossing guard and school personnel, according to James' statement.

The driver was said to have then turned left onto Vanderbilt Parkway.

The student's parents were notified and the incident was reported to police. According to James, the officer then notified surrounding police units.

This is the second incident, in which a middle school student was approached by an unknown driver, in two weeks.

The first happened Feb. 14 on Colby Drive when a boy was approached by a white man, described to be between 30 and 40 years old with dirty blonde hair. The man was said to have been wearing box glasses and a light blue jacket and driving either a grey or silver vehicle.

James said that the district is looking at the cases seriously and taking steps to ensure safety.

"The district’s main concern is the safety of our students and I will do everything in my power to assure their safety at all times. Should you encounter any suspicious persons on school ground, or anyplace else, please contact the police immediately," he said.

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Commack is not the only school to see these incidents occur in recent weeks. Deer Park, Hauppauge and Port Jefferson School Districts have all had similar stranger danger alerts this month.

The Commack superintendent said that district security personnel will be present in and around the area of the incident during arrival and dismissal times and that additional security staff are present at each school, and will remain present, from arrival to dismissal times daily. He also said that the staff has been reminded to keep exterior doors locked at all times and that all those who enter the district's buildings must have the proper identification and a legitimate reason to enter the building.

LINANA February 26, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Thought I read a follow up to the first incident (2/14) in a local paper that it was a neighbor who was acquainted with the child. Person was questioned by police and it was a non incident. Person was trying to be neighborly. Therefore, no connection to this second incident.
Team Dawg February 27, 2013 at 02:48 PM
We at Team Dawg authored one of our children's books on the subject of child safety based on this type of scenario. Unfortunately, this type of incident is becoming more and more commonplace. There have been 4-5 reports locally in the past 2-3 weeks alone. Books can be a great way of communicating with our children on difficult subjects. We can never discuss their safety enough. Please take a moment and remind your children what to do if this should occur to them.
Robin Senholzi March 03, 2013 at 12:45 AM
Longwood school District also notified parents that someone approached a student in their area

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