Parents alerted after student reportedly approached by two strangers near elementary school

Students and parents at Mililani Mauka Elementary are on edge after an incident involving strangers was reported near campus.

Letters were sent out Tuesday from the Department of Education informing parents about a child who was approached by two men while walking home from school Monday afternoon.

The school says two adult men in a black Dodge Charger approached the student on Ukuwai Street, which is less than a half-mile away.

A parent who was driving by saw the incident and stopped to check on the student, who was okay. At that point, the car reportedly sped off.

“I think it’s kind of weird and scary,” said Kaylen Iinuma, a fifth grade student at Mililani Mauka Elementary. “I don’t now whey people would just come up to a student while they’re walking home.”

Mililani Mauka Elementary parent Judy Flores said, “Especially now that it has happened close to home, it does hit home.”

Tiffany Kim, who was walking home with her children after school, said sometimes people park on the side of the road and hang out.

“It can be kind of sketchy and kind of scary,” she said. “I’ve thought about letting them walk home, but with the recent incidents, I don’t feel comfortable.”

Mililani Mauka Elementary principal Avis Nanbu said, “We have partnered with the Honolulu Police Department community policing unit to come in and do some presentations about stranger danger, talking to them about being vigilant of their surroundings, not walk alone. Just to make sure that everything is safe for our students.”

The Honolulu Police Department said they do presentations by request throughout the year. Click here for information or to schedule a safety presentation.

Kaala Elementary in Wahiawa sent a similar letter home to parents. Both schools are urging parents to speak with their kids about staying away from strangers, and report anything suspicious to a trusted adult.

The Department of Education listed some things you can talk to your children about to help keep them safe:

  • Stay away from strangers, do not talk to or take anything from them.
  • Do not go anywhere with someone you don’t know.  Never accept a ride from a stranger.
  • Stay more than an arm’s reach from strangers.  If a stranger approaches you, seek help immediately from a trusted adult.
  • Use the buddy system; avoid walking anywhere alone.
  • If a stranger grabs you, do whatever it takes to stop the stranger and yell for help.
  • Report any suspicious activity to a trusted adult.
  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings and let others know where you will be and what time you will be back.

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