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South Orange-Maplewood School District: Talk to Your Children About Safety

From the South Orange-Maplewood School District:

Dear SOMSD Community,

You may have read or heard that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Maplewood Police Department are investigating a home invasion and sexual assault of a young woman which took place during the day yesterday. The young woman is not an SOMSD student, but our thoughts go out to her as she heals from this traumatic event. Since the investigation is ongoing, no details are being released.

We wanted to bring this to your attention so that you can talk to your children about safety protocols, especially if they walk to or from school. Safety tips include:

  • Walk to and from school or town as part of a group, rather than alone.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Don’t talk to strangers or give personal information out to anyone you don’t know.
  • If you feel you are being followed, go to a public place or call 911.
  • If you see something suspicious, call 911.
  • Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help.

In addition, the Maplewood Police Department has advised: “Residents are asked to call 911 to report any suspicious persons, vehicles or activity. Residents should be aware of their surroundings especially if walking alone and not provide personal information to strangers. Do not open your door to strangers, talk thru an open window if you have to. Call 911 immediately if possibly being followed. Parents are asked to have conversations with their children on safety and instruct them to call 911 first in the event of an emergency.

If your child is exhibiting any signs of anxiety or stress in reaction to news of this incident, please reach out to arrange for extra supports:

Middle School            High School
Your Child’s Guidance Counselor Your Child’s Guidance Counselor
School Social Worker

  • MMS – Eric Stoudemire ext. 3176
  • SOMS – Alison Steiner ext. 2012
Student Assistance Counselors

  • Michael Loupis (Grades 9-10) ext. 1044
  • Judy Cohen (Grades 11-12) ext. 1043

We thank you for your continuing partnership in keeping our students and our community safe.

South Orange Maplewood School District

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