A letter from the Atkinson principal:

Dear Atkinson Community,

I want to inform you about an incident that happened Thursday, September 20. A male student reported that a man approached him yesterday as he was leaving school. The man told the student that his dad authorized him to pick up the student from school. The student returned to school safely when the man was unable to repeat the safe word that the family had established. The student did not ask for staff assistance and left the building with his older sister. The man is described as wearing a black hat turned backward, sunglasses, a black jacket with the word “Dude” on it, and dark ripped jeans. The man is of average build and approximately six feet tall. 

Parents, please take time to review the following safety tips with your student(s). 

Always have your child walk with others.
Travel on busy streets where you may get help if needed
Do not cut through parks, fields, or other deserted areas
Know where your child is at all times
Remind students to never take money from a stranger
Do not let your child go alone into public restrooms in parks or stores.
Walk away from a stranger no matter what the stranger says to you.
Create a Code Word to use with your student, so they will know when a message is from you.
If someone keeps following you, SCREAM LOUDLY AND RUN AWAY.
If you see people around you participating in any activity that seems dangerous, suspicious or out of the ordinary, please call Portland Police at 911 first, then the school office, or PPS Security Services at 503-916-3000.

Brenda Fox
Principal, Atkinson Elementary School