Follow-up communication regarding incidents of students being followed

December 5, 2012

The following information was sent to families via email and voicemail lat

Dear OPRF High School Families:

As a follow-up to today’s communication regarding several incidents of students being followed, we want to make sure that you have the attached notification from the Village of Oak Park, regarding the suspect they have in custody. [See news items on our homepage for police statement.] We also want to let you know about our plans for lunch period tomorrow. As we said in our earlier communication, we learned of the incidents right around the time fourth-period lunch was ending today. In the interest of safety as we gathered more information, we decided to close the campus and keep students in the building for fifth- and sixth-period lunch.

Tomorrow we will resume our normal modified closed campus procedures, with students who have permission being allowed to leave campus for lunch. Given the statement from the Oak Park Police Department, we believe the imminent threat has passed. However, caution is always warranted any time young people are walking around town unsupervised. If at any time you are uncomfortable with your child leaving campus during lunch, you can log in to your Family Access account and change the permission status to “no.” If your student swipes his or her ID to leave the building, access will be denied. If you do decide to revoke permission, even temporarily, please be sure to speak with your child about this ahead of time.

Also, please talk with your student about following these important safety reminders, whether walking around during the day or at night:

• When waiting for a ride, wait near the school building.
• Always try to walk in groups or with at least one other person.
• Walk on sidewalks and other open areas rather than alleys that have less visibility.
• Be aware of your surroundings and any strangers who are nearby.
• Do not wear ear buds/headphones or text while walking, so that you can remain alert to what is going on around you.
• If you have a concern about another person near you, go to a neighbor’s house, find an adult to assist you, or go back to school.
• Never approach a vehicle unknown to you even if the occupant speaks to you.
• Yell loudly and run if you feel you are in danger.
• Be sure to tell your parents if something happens. Parents should contact the police and the school.

Thank you for your continued help in keeping our students safe.

Sincerely,

Karin Sullivan
Director of Communications & Community Relations