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We are committed to student safety at Pocantico Hills. We will continue to keep informed, check facts, provide learning opportunities, share information with the community and use professional judgment to safeguard all of our students. We certainly appreciate your support and reassurance when sharing this sensitive information with your children.

We walk a fine line between informing our students and making them anxious or fearful. A preoccupation with the risk of abduction can be harmful to a child and can lead to false reporting. Finding the proper balance between appropriate alertness and irrational fear can be difficult and ultimately depends on a family’s understanding of how their child is affected by things that can be frightening.

Our school-wide safety education programs are ongoing. In most classes, they extend beyond “stranger danger” and include topics such as personal safety, risk factors and reporting. We also continue to collaborate with our Mount Pleasant D.A.R.E. officers and the District Attorney’s office.

Student Safety Reminders for Parents

  • Encourage students to walk in open, public areas and with others.
  • Advise students to seek a safe haven (store, home, office) if approached by a stranger.
  • If followed by a car, turn and run the other way.
  • Report suspicious behavior by calling 911.

The following information was taken from the website: which is part of the web site: National Crime Prevention Council at

Dealing with Strangers and Dangerous Situations

Some people say a stranger is a friend you haven't met yet. This isn't always the case, but it is true that most strangers are nice people. However, some are not. Unfortunately, you can't tell if a stranger is good or bad just by looking at him or her but you can tell if a situation is good or bad.

If a child is asked to do something without his or her parents' permission, or to go somewhere alone with an adult, a dangerous situation may occur. If a child feels uncomfortable or scared, the situation may be dangerous. You may not be able to shield children from these situations, but you can teach them what to do if they feel something is wrong.

What You Can Do

•  Explain what a stranger is. Emphasize that strangers don't look like monsters or aliens, but that they look like ordinary people.

•  Teach children "No, Go, Yell, Tell." Teach children to say no, run away, yell as loud as they can, and tell a trusted adult if they think they are in a dangerous situation. Practice this through role-playing. Possible dangerous situations:  an adult asks a child for directions, an adult asks a child to keep a "special secret," or an adult approaches a child in a car.

•  Know where your children are at all times. Make a rule that your children must ask permission or check with you before going anywhere. Give your children your work and cell phone numbers so they can reach you at all times.

•  Point out safe places in the neighborhood. Walk through the neighborhood with children and show them safe places to play, safe roads and paths to take, and safe places to go if there is trouble.

•  Teach children to trust their instincts. Explain that if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable they should get away from the situation and tell an adult. Reassure children that you will help them when they need it.

Mount Pleasant Police Department

The Official D.A.R.E. Web Site

Copyright © 2005 Pocantico Hills Central School District

599 Bedford Road - Sleepy Hollow, New York 10591. Tel: 914-631-2440 Fax: 914-631-3280
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