Champaign schools warn of 'stranger danger' incident
CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign school district is notifying parents about an incident that happened Tuesday afternoon on South Duncan Road during which a man, naked from the waist down, approached two 13-year-old girls.
Superintendent Judy Wiegand said, "Anytime we're made aware of situations like this, we want to make sure our families know about it, as well."
In a note to parents, Wiegand wrote that at about 3:50 p.m. Tuesday, the man parked his two-door, black car in a church parking lot at Meadowbrook Community Church, which is in the 1900 block of South Duncan Road.
He approached the students while making inappropriate gestures, and they ran away, screaming for help.
The man returned to his vehicle and headed toward South Duncan Road.
He's described as white, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a short buzzed haircut or balding. He was wearing a red and black bandana around his nose and mouth. He may also have been wearing a red T-shirt.
The school district is reminding students that if they're approached by a stranger, they should tell a trusted adult.
Students should check with an adult before going anywhere with anyone, especially someone they don't know. Students should not walk with or accept rides with strangers, even if that person offers the student something.
Students should trust their instincts and remember it's OK to say no to an adult and to run if something feels unsafe.
Students should run if a stranger tries to put them in a car, and scream or kick to get the attention of others.
Students should try to remember information about a strange vehicle, including license plate numbers, color and bumper stickers, and report it quickly.
The school district is encouraging parents to avoid putting a child's name on clothes or personal items, create a secret code word known only to family and show children how to dial 911.
Parents should teach children not to walk outside with headphones and remind them not to assist strangers by providing directions, finding lost pets or other requests. If a stranger approaches, children should not wait to call police.