Back-to-School Safety: School Pickups
In the US, a child goes missing every 40 seconds. More than 2,000 children are reported missing every day—that’s 800,000 each year. Yet despite the warnings and education around “stranger danger,” it is very rare that children are abducted by someone they don’t know. Family and acquaintance kidnappings represent the highest percentage of abductions, and measures like the New York City Department of Education’s green card system are in place to prevent such frightening events.
The Department of Education’s safety protocol requires legal guardians to fill out a green card listing the individual(s) authorized to pick each child up from school. School employees must then verify the individual against the green card before the child is released. This prevents not only abductions by strangers, but also kidnappings by estranged parents or acquaintances whom the child may trust.
Take precautions by making sure your child’s school pickup card is up to date, and introduce any authorized pickup parties to school staff to make sure they have a clear idea of who may pick up your child.
The parents of an 8-year-old girl came to Langsam Law after their daughter was sexually assaulted by someone who was not authorized to pick her up from school. The child’s mother called the school and told them she would be late picking the child up. Meanwhile, the babysitter of another child in the class volunteered to take the child home, and the school released her. The babysitter then took the child to the bathroom and sexually assaulted her. The NYC Department of Education ended up settling with the family for pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Note: Prior results to not guarantee similar results.