On Wednesday, I was hanging with my Godparents and family. My God Sister, Joy, had to leave to go pick up her daughter from school. I can’t remember how it came up, but Joy decided to check to see if her daughter would walk away with a stranger. Everyone in the house was sure that her daughter wouldn’t. I knew that if they sent me in the school to get Lauren, I could get Lauren to walk out with me. There are many reasons why I knew this, the most important one being, I have a trusting face and kids naturally like me. Then beyond that, I know her family better than she does, I have known them longer. Even though she hadn’t seen me since she was 2, I am sure they have photos of me in the house. I didn’t want to participate in testing Lauren this way, because I knew she would fail.
I ended agreeing to this test out of curiosity. But while a mother was trying to test their child, I was testing the school administration. I was curious if the school would let me walk out with the child without any notification from Joy. I was wondering what protocols that CPS had in place. I wanted them to make me have to jump through some hoops before I was able to leave with this child. Sadly, the school didn’t pass my test. I walked in, didn’t have any I.D. on me. Just dropped Lauren’s name, saying I was there to pick her up. Not only did the guards not ask for I.D., they didn’t even call Joy to corroborate with my story. And the most scary part was they let actually let me walk out of the school with Lauren. One guard followed me out and once confronted by Joy, who was waiting in the parking lot, he tried to say he was going to take a picture of my car. But what good would that even do once I have the child in my possession? If I was a predatory person that was bold enough to walk into a school and steal a child away from the facility that a parent has entrusted their child’s well being, couldn’t I have been bold enough to steal a car? Did this not occur to anyone, but me?
I know there are plenty of parents working on stranger danger with their kids. But if you’re constantly letting others pick them up or putting them in situations where someone they are not very familiar with can take them, they will become use to walking off with people they are not familiar. There are some people who use a password for situations like this, but I am doubtful of a child’s memory in critical situations. I expect children to be foolish, but that is why they need adults to protect them. I expect the school to ensure the safety of all their there kids as much as possible while my child is on their property. What would be the best thing for schools to do.