Sunday, November 27, 2011


Out of sight = Out of mind. An unrecognized national phenomenon is that some sex offenders are living in tents along the outskirts of our communities.

Some sex offenders live in wooded areas, near parkways, behind businesses and office parks, and in wooded lots near our communities. (The above photo is an AP photo of a registered sex offender who lives in a wooded area in Georgia) The focus of this posting is to raise community awareness to this unseen safety concern to the security of our children, families, schools, and communities. As a consequence to their convictions, sex offenders face tough living restrictions as to where they can and cannot live in proximity to institutions where children are concentrated such as schools, day care centers, and public parks. Typically they are restricted from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, child-care facilities, and other areas where children gather. Some sex offenders live in the woods as a last resort while others live in wooded areas to remain undetected for nefarious reasons. In some cases law enforcement agencies know where these concentrations are at and probation / parole officers monitor these individuals, but not in all cases. Regardless of their reasons, the American public must be aware of this phenomenon to continue to ensure our children’s safety.

Some Examples:
  •  Winsted CT: Robert Logan (34) a registered sex offender from Arkansas lived in a tent in the woods in Winsted, CT and used promises of candy, ice cream, and money to lure children into his tent (near an apartment complex) to abuse them. He lured a 7 year old girl into his tent and abused her.
  • Waterbury CT: Damien Wells, a 36 yr old unregistered sex offender (federal conviction on child pornography) was found living in a tent in a wooded patch behind a pharmacy on a busy street (Wolcott Street). He was armed with two weapons and ammo.
  • Wooded Sex Offender Camps: Florida (Orlando, Orange County), Georgia (Cobb County), California (Laguna Woods). Just conduct a Google Search.

Points for Discussion:

  • PREPARE YOUR KIDS: Ensure we continue to educate children about “Stranger Danger”. Teaching them to avoid and ignore strangers who try to engage them, and to make noise if the stranger doesn’t get the hint.
    • We used to teach our child to scream / yell “GET AWAY FROM ME STRANGER!!!”
    • Role play these stranger danger scenarios (Help me look for my lost puppy, Your mom got hurt & you need to come with me to see her, I am lost can you help me) with your child to include their actions and responses.
    • Remind them to maintain a distance from strangers especially in cars and run away screaming if encountered. The goal is to empower & prepare them, not to live in fear.
  • INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING: Continue to educate them to not allow anyone to include people (relatives, neighbors, coaches, teachers, etc.) they know to “touch their bodies”. Always teach your kids to tell you (NO MATTER WHAT) if this happens to them, it makes them brave and is not their fault it happened.
  • PREDATORS ARE HUNTERS: Remember child sexual predators / sexual predators are skilled hunters who know how to find, target, manipulate, control, and intimidate their victims. They will often tell the victimized child they will "kill their mommy & daddy if they tell anyone".
  • SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING: Children like to explore especially in the woods. Ensure you tell your children to tell you if they ever see grown-ups living in the woods or tents in areas where they travel or play to let you or a grown up know immediately.
  • PROTECT THEIR INNOCENCE: Telling your children their are bad people in this world who do bad things does not take away their innocence, but can protect it.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sophisticated & Protracted Threat Against Ohio High School


For a two week period, Orange High School has received a number of cyber threats sent via email (first threat email on Nov 6) and to local television stations. Initially the school was shutdown for a few days and then re-opened and the threats continued. These protracted threats are serious and involve a variety of bomb threats including cell phone bombs, backpack bombs, and car bombs. The situation was further complicated by information put out on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) were it can be difficult to distinguish between gossip, information, and fact. The school and local police have contacted the FBI who have collectively opened a joint (state & federal) investigation. These email originated threats at present have been unable to be exploited by the FBI due to the high tech software used by the unidentified perpetrators. The full resources of the FBI to include their Behavioral Science Unit are involved. The Orange School District and Pepper Pike Police Dept. held a joint presentation with the FBI at a school board meeting with numerous parents in attendance. The school & Pepper Pike PD formulated a security strategy to address the serious threats involving limitations on student cell phones, student backpacks, bio-chemical agents, and single door entrance with accompanying searches. There was an increased police presence at the school and bomb searches by bomb detection dogs. There was also restrictions on students not being able to leave class without an adult escort. The duration and active measures fluctuated based on the changing threats over the course of the two weeks.

FBI Briefing at the Orange District School Board:

The School posted a special page on their website as an information forum for students and parents. The credibility of the threat appears to be diminishing, but due to the seriousness of the threats the authorities are taking no chances. Since the emails are considered evidence in the federal investigation, the contents cannot be directly released to the parents.  

While we hope this is a hoax or veiled threat resulting in a future arrest, this ongoing incident shows how unprepared our educational institutions are with no federal strategy towards school preparedness. Imagine if any one of these threats actually occurred, how would we be looking at this differently?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kid’s Report School Bus Driver Who Is Driving Erratically Due to High BAC.

SEE SOMETHING, HEAR SOMETHING = SAY / DO SOMETHING: Kid’s Report School Bus Driver Who Is Driving Erratically Due to High Blood Alcohol Level.   

WESTAMPTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- A female bus driver in NJ was arrested on Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges after the school children she was taking home called their parents to complain about her driving. Nervous students contacted their parents after Carole Crockett allegedly was seen falling asleep behind the wheel and swerving the bus she was driving in Westampton Township. The parents called 911, and police caught up with the bus at Holly Hills School, while she was trying to pick up more students. The 46 year old bus driver’s blood alcohol level was found to be .25 percent -- more than three times the legal limit of .08 percent. She faces 25 counts of driving under the influence with a minor and child endangerment. Bail was set at $10,000 for the disorderly conduct offense. Superior Court judge Michael Haas set bail on the endangering charges at $75,000. The driver was released after posting bail and her next court date is Nov. 17.

Points For Discussion:
  • These students should be praised for their intelligent and morally responsible act of calling their parents when they saw something wrong and dangerous to themselves and others.
  • One Critique in An Effort To Be Even More Prepared In The Future. Teach children to contact 911 FIRST when there is danger, an immediate serious safety threat, or an injury and THEN call their parents. Activating 911 first can save lives if their is an imminent safety threat or medical injury.
  • Make a public example of these students for doing the right thing and protecting the safety and security of each other. Recognize them at a school function, PTO meeting, and have a local news article to be written about them.
  • Energize the community to always OBSERVE school bus driving performance as they go about their day and to REPORT if they see a distracted school or unsafe (swerving, going thru a traffic light, etc.) bus driver.
  • Positive Use of a Student's Cell Phone / Electronic Device: I am not a fan of allowing students to visibly display or liberally use a cell phone /iPhone during the school day
    (topic of a future post), but this is exactly why students should have the means to communicate if things are unsafe or they need help at anytime
EVERYONE (Students, Teachers, Parents, Administration, Workers, Delivery personnel, neighbors, citizens) all have a ongoing role in school preparedness. These student's got it right and prevented disaster.