ORLANDO, Fla. – Teaching manners to children is one of the most important things parents do, but there's an opposite side that can be equally essential.
With a recent abduction attempt of a middle school student who was walking to her bus stop in Orange County, experts say there several specific things that parents should explain to their children.
1. FIGHT BACK. If someone tries to get you to go with them or grabs you, fight back. Manners are out the window, in this case. You need to make a scene to draw attention to the fact that you are in trouble and that you need help. Question the person: Who are you? You are not my mom or dad! Help! I need help. The most important thing they should be striving for is to get away from danger and find a safe place immediately.
2. RUN AWAY. If a child is being followed by a car, make sure to run in the opposite direction of the car that is following you. This could buy them time, if the driver decides to turn around and drive after them.
3. REFUSE TO GO. Never, never, never get into the car of someone you do not know or walk anywhere with a person you do not know. It is not safe to separate from your parents or guardians. In the event a child separates from a guardian or parent, he or she should find a parent with children and walk with them. A police officer may not always be around, if they get lost.
4. BE SKEPTICAL. An adult should never be asking you for your help or to go anywhere with them.
5. DON'T TRUST STRANGERS. While many strangers could have an appearance that looks suspicious, many could look totally normal and a child is not to trust anyone.
6. SECRET WORD. To be prepared if your child is ever in danger, make sure you create a code word with them that only your family knows. If they are ever in danger, they should scream the word to alert you that they need your help.
Note: Does your family use a "safe word?" If so and you'd like to be part of a possible future story on News 6, please comment below.
In the recent kidnapping attempt, Orange County deputies released a sketch of the man who grabbed the 14-year-old Lockhart Middle School student.
A reward of $1,000 is being offered for information about the man's identity. Anyone with details is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.