Parents, students on alert after suspicious vehicle reported near Norman school

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NORMAN, Okla. - Norman parents are on high alert after police say a man tried to lure two Alcott Middle School students into his van.

The bold move happened right next to the school near Garrison Dr. and Windsor Way.

Thankfully, administrators say the two students did not comply.

Instead, they rushed to school to tell authorities.

"We were really happy that these students took what they had learned and used it and made it to school safe," Alesha Leemaster, with Norman Public Schools, said.

We spoke with several concerned parents and grandparents who waited anxiously in the pick up lines outside Norman Schools Friday afternoon.

"I'm still going to be waiting for him to come out. You know? Please be there. I know he is, but," one Jackson Elementary parent said.

"I can't believe it. I'm still in shock. It's pretty scary," Melissa Komers, a grandmother, said.

Earlier in the day, they got the following alert from school officials.

Dear Parents/Guardians: We have been informed that someone driving a light-blue van with multi-colored curtains in the rear window allegedly attempted to coax two students into the vehicle near the area of Garrison Drive and Windsor Way during their walk to school Sept. 11. The Norman Police Department is aware of this situation. The safety and welfare of our students is always our top priority. Please discuss with your child the importance of being aware of his or her surroundings and of avoiding contact with any strangers in any situation outside of school. Using the buddy system at bus stops and while walking to and from school provides more protection for young children, and other stranger danger safety tips to stress to children include: Never go anywhere with anyone unless your parents know who you are going with and where you are going. Know your address and phone number. If you are playing with friends at a park or other location and they leave, leave with your friends. Try to always walk places with friends. In any emergency, call 9-1-1. Children should never be embarrassed to tell their parents, the police and their teacher about something they observed or that happened they think was not right. Please contact the Norman Police Department by calling 9-1-1 if you have any information that may be helpful to this investigation. Also, please share any information you believe will be of assistance with your school’s main office. Sincerely, Norman Public Schools Administration

Leslie Barse lives near the area. Now, she is a worried grandmother.

"It's frightening. A little unsettling, makes me think. I was in my house when that was going on across the street. So yeah, I'll be extra careful with them from now on," Barse said.

The schools are advising parents to share safety tips with their children, which parents told NewsChannel 4 they plan to do right away.

"I'm going to let him know that there was a bad man driving around and just remind him that only to get into the car with me or his dad or his mommy's friend."

Some parents who take their children to school say they are extra worried for the kids who walk.

"I see a lot of children my sons age walking to school in their own and it just blows me away," one mother said who was waiting in the pick-up line.

"Little bitty kids with no parents at all. It's pretty scary," Komers said.

Police say the suspect is a man in his 40s who is about 5'6."

They say he has blonde hair, blue eyes and was wearing a white and blue tank top with khaki shorts.

The light blue van he was in has multicolored curtains and possibly busted windows.

If you have seen that van or the suspect, call 911.

Some of the safety tips Norman Public Schools have for parents are as follows:

  • Use the buddy system. Always stick with a friend.
  • Always tell your parents where you are going.
  • Know your address.
  • Do not be embarrassed or afraid to tell a teacher or parent about something that you felt uncomfortable with.

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