A scary incident involving a man lunging at a girl on Mountain View's Bubb School campus—shortly after a suspicious person was reported near St. Simon School—triggered immediate safety precautions at Los Altos School District Thursday afternoon.
School Superintendent Jeff Baier emailed an alert to parents after Mountain View Police, working with Los Altos police, strove to investigate two separate reports in their towns involving suspicious adults on or near school campuses.
The St. Simon report was later determined to be unfounded, but involved an unidentified man in his 50s who was standing near a tetherball pole at , located at 525 Hans Ave., between Miramonte and Phyllis avenues. A 9-year-old girl was walking toward her classroom about 8:45 a.m. when he suddenly lunged at her. She ran to her classroom, and was unhurt.
around 11:20 a.m. in Los Altos Hills, involving a female pedestrian walking her dog and a man who attempted to block her path multiple times in his truck, capped a morning of incidents that were spread apart, but coincidentally came in close time proximity may have contributed to the sense of precautions needed.
A mother arriving to serve lunch to her kids at Gardner Bullis School found all children were returned to their classrooms.
Saying the district did not wish to touch off a climate of fear, Baier nonetheless issued the following measures in direct reaction to the Bubb School incident. Bubb School is part of the Mountain View Whisman School District:
We have been in contact with MVWSD as well as the Los Altos Police Department (LAPD) to investigate this matter and to ensure the safety of our campuses. LAPD and the Mountain View Police Department (MVPD) is in the process of developing a description and sketch of the individual, which will be shared in a press release later today.
Effective immediately, we have asked each of our schools to implement the following safety precautions:
• No student should be allowed to be outside the classroom unless accompanied by an adult or another student. We will implement a buddy system for students using hallway restrooms or walking to the office or other school locations.
• During recess, lunch, dismissal times, and extracurricular activities, supervisors will be on heightened alert. Any suspicious individuals will be immediately reported to the school office.
• Prior to dismissal, schools will announce that students should not walk home alone, but rather, to do so in pairs or groups. If individual students are unable to find other students to accompany them, they are encouraged to use school phones to contact parents.
We are taking these extra precautions to ensure the safety of your children at school. We are also balancing this with our effort to not create a climate of fear. If your child typically walks home from school and your are making other arrangements, please call the school office.
We encourage families to speak with their children about the importance of exercising caution when coming in contact with strangers, as well as the need to avoid walking alone. Students should also be encouraged to report any suspicious individuals to responsible adults.
We will keep you informed of any subsequent developments regarding this matter.
It is not clear when how long precautions will be in effect. Baier was not available at the time of this report.
- Mountain View Patch Editor Claudia Cruz contributed to this report.