This case involves an attempted kidnapping of a 6-year-old male student on the grounds of an elementary school. The student was dismissed from school with his class on schedule but his parents were late to pick him up. There were no teachers outside of the school to supervise the children who were waiting for their parents so the student waited alone. There were also no gates or security cameras on the premises. While the student was sitting on a bench, he was approached by a man dressed in a coach’s uniform who (unbeknownst to the child) was not a faculty member. The man told the child that his parents were waiting for him on the other side of the playground, and offered to escort the child. The man took the child to a corner of the grounds and attempted to duct tape him. The child was able to escape and fled to the main office of the school. An expert was sought to discuss safety protocol on school grounds to avoid an incident such as an attempted kidnapping.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please describe your familiarity with the school safety, particularly as it pertains to this case.
- 2. What measures could have been put in place to avoid the incident in question?
Expert Witness Response E-058173
I have been a school safety expert for 12+ years, specializing in crisis preparedness. I have worked with elementary schools on both interior and exterior safety and security measures with regard to potential threats including active shoots, kidnappings, and additional threats. One the most crucial aspects to ensure student safety is school connectedness and awareness. I have published articles on school safety and have conducted widely-circulated lectures on the subject. I presented an hour-long school preparedness plan that was recorded and has been aired in a variety of states across the country. My plan was recently referenced by the Secretary of State as a model for schools nationwide. In regard to this case, I can absolutely speak to what measures should have been put in place.