HOUSTON – Parents with students at Gary Herod Elementary in Meyerland are were on alert Wednesday after receiving a message Tuesday night from the school’s principal.
“This is an important message for Herod Elementary parents from Principal Colion,” the voicemail and letters read. “We received reports that an unknown female attempted to abduct one of our students as he was walking on Mullins street as he was walking home.”
Houston Independent School District confirmed that the attempted kidnapping happened around 3 p.m. and stated that the child was able to get away unharmed.
“Me and my mom, we were shocked because school just started and they already starting this already,” Victoria Walker, a Herod elementary parent. “So we were terrified because, like, these kids are waking home every day.”
Herod Elementary’s parents said the incident sparked another family discussion about strangers and school safety. Rachel Macias said her first and fourth grade children know to not talk to strangers or leave the school’s campus without her around.
“To make sure that he doesn’t go anywhere until I get there, stay inside and don’t come outside until he sees one of us,” said the mother of two.
Stella Mireles-Walters founded Safe Walk Home Northside six years ago after Josue Flores, 11, was abducted and fatally stabbed while walking home from school. Since 2016, Mireles-Walters has made it her mission to ensure children have a safe walk home from school.
She said she’s glad the Herod elementary student’s precautionary instincts kicked on Tuesday.
“We need to keep starting to teach our students as well as our parents to get that message across -- stay away from strangers,” Mireles-Walters said.
The letter from Herod Elementary’s principal said extra HISD police officers will patrol the area. The email also urged parents to talk to their children about not walking home alone and to pay attention to their surroundings.
HISD released the following statement:
“The HISD Police Department is investigating an incident involving an attempted abduction that occurred on Mullins Street near Herod Elementary School on August 24, 2021 at about 3:05 p.m. An unknown female tried to encourage a student to come to her. The student quickly returned to the crossing guard and was unharmed. Extra HISD police officers have been assigned to patrol the area. HISD takes these situations very seriously, as the safety of our students is always our top priority.”