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L.A. schools warn families of predators

September 14, 2009 4:34:16 PM PDT
Since school started in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District in late August, five safety notices have been sent out to parents.They're being called, "student annoyances." Five different suspects, including one woman, have tried to lure children into a vehicle.

Chief Tony Argott has visited schools informing teachers and parents of what's been happening. All of the so-called annoyances occurred near schools, but none have happened directly on campus.

The notices are a tool Argott is using to get parents involved in looking out for suspicious behavior..

Ruby Liu heard of the annoyances through a district phone call to her home. She walks her child to and from school, saying that she will accompany her child until she is safely with her teacher.

Along with informing parents, Argott says the alerts are sent to neighboring school districts and law enforcement.

So far, the plan has worked. Of the five incidents, authorities have contacted one of the suspects. And thanks to a donation from a district parent, 10,000 whistles will be distributed to elementary school students.

"These predators don't want attention drawn to them, so we teach the kids to blow the whistle. It's a toy, but we use it to help them," says Argott.

In the safety alerts to parents, the district has listed a number of things for parents to talk to kids about what to do when a stranger approaches.

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