2:37 PM: Two eighth-grader girls from Denny International Middle School say older boys/men “grabbed and pushed” them on Monday. That’s according to this letter just sent to Denny and Chief Sealth International High School families by Denny principal Jeff Clark (who shared it with WSB) and Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer:
Dear Denny and Chief Sealth Scholars and Families,
This morning, two of our 8th grade female scholars reported to us that they were approached by two males on their walk home yesterday near SW Trenton St. and 22nd Ave SW. They reported that the males followed them and then grabbed and pushed them towards a yard.
Our scholars did a great job by screaming, getting away, and running off. Our scholars believed that the males were in their late teens and approximately 5’7”. Both of the males had their jackets zipped up partially blocking their faces and had hoods on, so we have a limited description.
Our scholars did the right thing by screaming, getting away, and telling an adult at home and at school. The families reported the incident to the Seattle Police Department last night and they are investigating today. The Seattle Police and Seattle Public Schools staff will both be providing extra presence in that area.
As a pre-caution, we are reminding our scholars this afternoon about safety tips for walking to and from school. We would appreciate your help by having a similar conversation at home. The walking safety advice includes:
GENERAL SAFETY TIPS
• Pay close attention to your surroundings, avoid “automatic pilot.”
• Walk with a purpose; project an assertive, business-like image.
• Use common sense; plan your route to avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways.
• Stick to well-lit areas.
• Develop a plan before you see trouble. Crossing a street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.
• If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking, do not approach it. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.
• Consider wearing clothing and shoes that you can move freely and quickly in, especially when walking or waiting for the bus.
• Carry minimal items; overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable.
• Always plan your route and stay alert to your surroundings. Avoid shortcuts. Walk confidently. Scan your surroundings and make eye contact with people.
• Avoid walking alone at night. As much as possible, walk or travel with a friend, even during the daytime.
As always, thank you for your help and partnership!
P.S. If you didn’t see it in the comments earlier – here’s the SPD Blotter writeup about the incident – same basic information.