Thanks to the parents who just shared this:
Dear Denny and Chief Sealth Scholars and Families,
We want to share information with you regarding an incident that was reported this morning involving two of our 10th-grade scholars on their way to school. At 8 a.m. this morning, two 10th-graders, one boy and one girl, were walking to school on 25th Ave SW between Westwood Village and SW Thistle St., when they were approached by an adult stranger on foot. The man got close to the girl and made inappropriate suggestive comments to her. The man was wearing a black sweatshirt with his hood on. The two scholars did everything right — they attempted to ignore him, started walking more quickly to get away from him and went straight into the school to report it. Chief Sealth staff called the police, who responded quickly to take a statement. The police will be in the area, along with extra school staff, during dismissal and arrival times as they follow-up on this incident.
As a precaution, we are reminding our scholars about walking safety tips. We would appreciate your help by having a similar conversation at home. The walking safety advice includes:
• 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.
• Immediately report anything suspicious to trusted adults (school staff and family members).
As always, thank you for your help and partnership!
Jeff Clark, Principal, Denny International High School
Aida Fraser-Hammer, Principal, Chief Sealth International High School
That’s the same area where SDOT cut plans for pathway improvements, saying a developer will likely have to make them within “several years.” That will be discussed at tomorrow night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition meeting, 6:15 pm Tuesday at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW).
PS: While processing this for publication, we also received a copy directly from the principals.