The following letter is from William S. Hackett Middle School Principal Michael Paolino. It also will be sent home with students today, Thursday.
I am writing to let you know about a safety incident involving Hackett Middle School students that happened shortly after dismissal Wednesday.
A stranger in a car stopped at a light and attempted to talk the students, who were waiting at a bus stop a few blocks from school. Our students attempted to ignore the person, who then produced what appeared to be an Orbeez (gel splatter) gun. The person began shooting water gel splatter balls at the students. The students quickly boarded the bus and notified their families, who in turn notified school administrators.
We immediately contacted the Albany Police Department and School Resource Officer Nicole Reddix. The police are investigating, and additional police will be present to support students at dismissal. In addition, we will have counselors and others available at school for any student who like to talk about the incident.
The safety of all our students is a top priority at Hackett and throughout the City School District of Albany. Please review the following tips at home with your student. This information is intended to keep children safe anytime they are out in the community without adult supervision.
- AVOID TROUBLE – If you see a group of adults or other students doing something that you know is wrong or potentially dangerous, please head in the opposite direction. Encourage your friends to do the same, and let an adult know what you saw.
- NEVER WALK ALONE – Walk with an adult family member, an older student or in a group.
- DO NOT TALK TO STRANGERS – If approached by a stranger RUN immediately to the nearest store or crossing guard and tell an adult about it.
- COME TO SCHOOL ON TIME – Sometimes being late is unavoidable. Parents and guardians, on those occasions please escort your children into school and be certain of their safe arrival.
- WALK AGAINST TRAFFIC SO YOU CANNOT BE FOLLOWED – It takes time for a driver to turn around and it will give you a head start.
- TELL SOMEONE IMMEDIATELY – If you have had something happen to you, have had an experience that made you feel uncomfortable or scared, or if you have information, tell school officials or your parents immediately.
Please remind your children of the importance of avoiding trouble, avoiding strangers and telling an adult immediately if they see or experience something that makes them feel uncomfortable. If you have any further questions, please contact my office at (518) 475-6475.