Vigilance is first lesson for back-to-school parents

Reports of attempted abductions have parents thinking of safety on first day of school

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Recent reports of attempted child abductions and strange encounters in east Louisville were on the minds of parents on the first day of school for Jefferson County Public Schools.

With no named suspects or arrests, the first lesson of the day was vigilance.

"Just trying to be more vigilant with the kids," Kris Vaughn said waiting for his two daughters in the long line of cars outside Norton Commons Elementary.  "We're trying to have conversations with them about strangers and what not."

Parents said they found the work of JCPS teachers, staff and administrators comforting.

"Even as a parent walking in the school this morning, taking her to school, they make you show IDs, they make you sign in," Brittany Cecil said while waiting to pick up her daughter. "They're very cautious which is very nice to see. It was definitely a lot more comforting for sure."

On July 31, a woman driving a black SUV reportedly attempted to abduct a 12-year-old girl walking her dog in Norton Commons. Police said the woman tried to lure the girl into the car, claiming she was helping the girl's parents.

A similar, earlier encounter was also reported in the neighborhood. There was also a report of a suspicious man chasing girls running in E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park at the end of July.

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Back-to-school minded parents said it was a teaching moment.

"It didn't even apply to them so much as going to school, it just opened our eyes even when they're just playing outside," Stacey Taylor said while waiting at Norton Commons Elementary for her two boys.

Casey Reynolds' daughter was the girl recently targeted in the attempted abduction. She was relieved to learn the conversation about safety continues.

"I'm very, very relieved that schools and parents -- and just the community in general -- that everybody's talking about it," Reynolds said. "That helps keep children safe."

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