Burlington School District officials say that on two separate instances strangers approached children as they made their way to school or their homes this week.
The reported cases came less than 24 hours apart and have raised concerns the safety of the city’s school children.
The first incident occurred Tuesday as two students walked home from Flynn Elementary School. Superintendent Tom Flanagan says said they were approached by a car driven by a White woman with shoulder-length blonde hair. She allegedly said, “Are you going to Northgate? Get in, I’ll give you a ride.”
Flanagan says the students were scared and ran home. As of Wednesday afternoon, their families had not filed a police report.
On Wednesday morning, a student at Integrated Arts Academy was walking to school near Elmwood Avenue and North Street when a White man on foot approached them and grabbed them by the hand. The man had long, curly blonde hair and was reportedly wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants.
The student bit the man’s hand and ran to the school.
The superintendent says he’s spoken with Mayor Miro Weinberger and BPD Chief Jon Murad about both incidents.
“This is the first time to my knowledge that a student has been physically assaulted or touched,” Flanagan said. “However, this also marks at least the fourth time our students have reported being approached by vehicles this year, all seemingly with different drivers and vehicles. I am angry and frustrated, and we are taking this seriously.”