Springfield parents concerned after alarming robocall

An alarming robocall sent to parents in the Springfield area.
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 3:44 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2022 at 4:44 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -Parents are concerned after receiving a robocall from Springfield Public Schools on Monday night.

The call alerted parents about attempted lurings in the Springfield area.

Part of the automated message stated, “We want to remind families to talk with their students, especially the younger ones, about stranger danger.”

It warned of a disturbing trend under investigation in the area, reports of a man trying to lure young students into his blue vehicle.

Western Mass News spoke with the District’s Chief Communications Officer, Azell Cavaan. She told us some of these incidents may have occurred before the start of the school week.

“Knowing this and seeing that had happened in more than one location, as a district, we wanted to just make parents aware so that they will have the information and be able to make better decisions about their child’s safety,” said Azell Cavaan.

Cavaan told us a few students recently told their principals what they have witnessed, prompting the district to act accordingly by sending the robocall.

The robocall stated, “We also want to urge families to continue their vigilance and proactivity around their students’ safety to and from school and in general.”

Western Mass News caught up with a concerned parent, Jeremy Barnett. He drove his daughter to Glenwood Elementary on Tuesday morning, while his son took the bus to middle school.

He says the robocall “hit home”, and he shared some important reminders with his kids.

“Just be careful, be alert, always look around your surroundings and be careful…just being worried, knowing that there are people out there who are trying to harm your kids,” said Jeremy Barnett.

Another parent, Briana Williams, dropped her son off at Glenwood. She told us she was surprised by what she heard Monday night, prompting a discussion with her child.

“It’s sad that it’s still happening, that people are just…. they’re children. They have their whole lives ahead of them. They have families that love them…they want to trust the world; they want to trust that things are safe out there for them because they don’t have that sense of ‘let me watch this’ or ‘let me watch that.’ They just do it. So, we got to be there for them,” said Briana Williams.

Springfield police tell us they are aware of the robocall but there has been no criminal activity related to it. However, they are asking parents and guardians to make sure kids get on the bus before they leave and that kids walking home from school should do so in groups.

Cavaan wants to remind kids that they are loved by their families and that people are generally good, but not all strangers can be counted on.

“If you don’t know someone, you don’t know if you can trust that person. And so, don’t talk to them, don’t get in a car with them, don’t take candy from them. Unless it’s someone who you know and trust, keep on your merry way.”