Strangers and dangers

School district advises students to abide by safety precautions

An attempted kidnapping and sexual assault of a 13-year-old Craig Middle School student prompted the Moffat County School District to release a tip sheet advising parents and students to abide by safety precautions.

"As a district, we want to let you know that we share with you the regret that such concerns can exist in any community, including ours," the district's statement reads. "We want to assure you that our district will continue to work toward providing a positive learning environment and ensures student safety."

The attempted kidnapping and sexual assault occurred Feb. 9 in the area of CMS while the female student was walking home alone. The attacker pulled the girl into his car and attempted to assault her, the Craig Police Department reported.

The incident was reported Feb. 25 and the Craig Police Department is attempting to identify the suspect, who is reportedly a male between 30 to 35 years old with short dark hair and dark complexion. Police reported he was driving a small four-door car, light brown to gold in color.

School district counselors, social workers and psychologists met Friday morning to discuss the best ways to remind students of sound safety practices.

Christine Villard, Moffat County School District director of student services, coordinated all district counselor staff to develop plans for reinforcing stranger awareness and response.

"Across the district, all students will be talked to in some way," Villard said. She added, "We don't want to scare kids. We just want kids to have the skills and information to respond in case there's a situation."

Villard said the awareness talks will be an extension of lessons taught to students during the year.

"We all do stranger awareness throughout the year," Villard said. She described the recent and upcoming talks with students as a "booster session of what we've already covered, a reminder."

The Police Department has asked for the public's help in identifying the suspect behind the CMS incident. Information can be reported directly to the department's investigation unit at 826-2367, 826-2368 or 826-2384.

Anonymous tips also may be reported through CrimeStoppers at 824-3535.

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