It has been a couple of weeks now since my granddaughter was chased in the town of Paden City. Thank God, she was not caught.
Unfortunately, my thoughts on the matter have not changed. It is the responsibility of the school system to make sure all children are safe until they reach their destination. In this case, due to the negligence or irresponsibility of a secretary, my granddaughter went through minutes of terror. When a parent or grandparent calls the school to have their child taken to a certain destination by a bus driver, that is where they should be taken. In all fairness to the bus driver, he was a substitute that day.
A bus pass was given to her brother but not to her. This bus pass tells the driver where to let them off. The bus driver, being a substitute, did not know they were brother and sister. How would he? One rides early bus, one rides late bus. As a parent or grandparent we all know who gives the bus passes out. I really think Humble Pie needs to be swallowed and an apology needs to be given to my granddaughter.
Now, a word to all who have children: For small children, don't let them go anywhere by themselves. We live in a small community and it is easy to say "Can't happen here." But it has happened here.
Children need to be taught always to be aware of who and what is around them at all times. Teach the children about 911 and teach them what to do if someone approaches them.
The school system should have at least once or twice a year an awareness assembly on how children of any age can help themselves be safe.
As of now I don't think the elementary school has sent out anything to help parents and students be aware of this situation. The high school has had an assembly.
Parents, just because you have a high school student they are not immune. This kind of thing can happen in our community to anyone.
The police departments could even get involved. Hold a town meeting. Hold a self defense class in the schools for Kindergarten to twelfth grade, age appropriate self defense.
I want to give a special thank you to the Sheriff of Wetzel County, James Hoskins, and the Channel 9 news, WTOV.