An incident involving a Butterfield Elementary School student prompted Maricopa Unified School District officials to issue a warning to parents about child safety this week.
MUSD sent out an email to parents Saturday stating there was a report from a Butterfield parent “that emphasizes the need to reinforce safety practices while walking to and from school.”
Details of the incident are unknown after parents reported it to the Maricopa Police Department.
The email stated “details can’t be disclosed,” but MUSD officials recommended ways adults can advise children what to do if they are approached or grabbed by a stranger.
- Never go anywhere with someone you don’t know.
- Stay away from an adult who is asking children for help, as in seeking directions or looking for a lost puppy.
- Don’t let a stranger into your home.
- If you have any fear of an adult stranger speaking to you, walk away.
- If someone grabs your wrist, make your arm spin like a windmill and yell as loud as you can.
MUSD spokesperson Mishell Terry said the parent report promoted the email to parents.
“In collaboration with MPD, we opted to not communicate specific details broadly due to it being an ongoing investigation and because our focus was to encourage a heightened awareness without fixating on details like a specific vehicle or approach,” she told InMaricopa. “We want both children and adults to trust their instincts and report anything that doesn’t feel right.
“The parent was proactive and took the right steps by reporting to both the police and the school district. We appreciate their commitment to partnering with MUSD and MPD to prioritize child safety.”
MPD spokesperson Monica Williams said the department was “aware of a reported incident involving a Butterfield student on their way home from school last week. Our officers investigated the report and don’t believe there is an ongoing concern for students after being unable to verify details of the report.”
Williams said Maricopa residents are “vigilant about the safety of others,” which is why the police worked with MUSD.
She said the incident is a reminder for families to have conversations with their children about being aware of any potential safety concerns, not just ones tied just to the report.
“We welcome and are appreciative of families and students who make these reports after seeing or experiencing something they know was not normal,” Williams said. “We will continue to investigate them to the fullest extent possible.”