Greetings Lenore Skenazy, or the world’s worst mom!
I don’t know if you have covered this topic in your blog cause I have not read all your posts yet!
Anyway, here in Seattle, it was in the news a week ago that there was an actual pair of evil-doers who attempted to drag two 13-year-old girls in a Seattle neighborhood into a yard. The kids screamed and successfully ran away. That was a happier ending than there is once in a while. Sometime last year there was a report in the news of what is alleged to be and presumably was an actual rape of a 13-year-old girl walking in the Tacoma or Lakewood area.
The attempted girl-draggings seems to be a worst case of bad behavior for that area at least over the last year.
However, some fellow apparently had been repeatedly flashing at a nearby Catholic girls school, once or twice a year. (I don’t think anyone knows if the Catholic school girl flasher has been caught or has given up.)
In April 2015, komonews had one news story in which they listed a series of about 5 negative events towards the girls in schools of West Seattle. The dumb-dumbs were in 2015 acting badly towards girls of both high school and middle school ages, but the list of problems in 2015 apparently only included a groping or two, and one case of robbery at gunpoint of cash and/or a phone. As for why that part of Seattle has seemingly attracted more than its share of bad behavior, I do not know enough to guess.
On the day of the attempted girl-dragging, the principal of the school of the girls wrote a letter or note to the parents and/or kids of the school. The local “WestSeattleBlog” or westseattleblog.com included in their news coverage the principal’s letter to parents and kids, in the most recent case of idiot behavior.
Anyway, there are two interesting omissions. The principal basically suggests that kids be more aware of their surroundings and “walk with a purpose.” The principal recommends that the kids avoid certain parks . . . He speaks of the “uninhabited parks” of West Seattle as places the kids should avoid. If you wish, you can read the principal’s recommendations at
(None of those news reports indicate that some of the crimes against the kids have been taking place in the parks, but perhaps the news media left that part out.)
Anyway, I wrote to the local news media and some others including school administration that they might wish to consider telling some of their girls about loud whistles and about pepper spray. (Of course, the wise state legislature makes it illegal for a 13-year-old girl to carry pepper spray. I assume the legislature thinks that the risk of a prank at school is a worse risk than a girl not being able to use pepper spray on a man who is grabbing her and has some intent to do worse than a prank.)
Anyway, at your blog, we often get to read dozens of stories of overblown fears about kid safety, but one question to consider, for you and for persons in West Seattle where there are some actual evil-doers who have grabbed girls, is would it be of help to the girls to carry whistles, pepper spray and/or knives?
About the knives . . . Seattle has a municipal code which prohibits carrying dangerous knives and lots of schools have weapons policies which would prevent a kid from having a knife. The schools can more or less protect kids mostly from assaults during school though with some regularlity we read of hazings and sexual hazings even of kids in HS or middle school and then school was often careless about protecting anyone and no weapons mean that someone being assaulted or raped in school may have little means of defense . . . Of course, the schools don’t protect the kids on the way to and from school and so “kids” at risk or rape and draggings are even more likely to be unarmed than an adult.
In the last 2 weeks, there was filed serious lawsuit alleging exceptionally bad sexual hazing amounting to rape at a high school in Olympia a nearby city to Seattle and the capitol of Washington state.
I am currently suing to have the Seattle law against knife possession in public overturned on constitutional grounds. I don’t know if that will end up helping any of kids who walk to and from school. Probably not. Kids and their parents in better neighborhoods don’t have as much risk of girl-draggings and kids in lesser neighborhoods don’t sue very much. I am not even sure what would be a reasonable policy re middle school kids and knives, but I am certain that all who wish should be armed with pepper spray and whistles.
Anyway, since I know you–Lenore–like the idea of kids being able to play in the parks, you might wish to write to Jeff Clark, who is the principal of Denny Middle school in Seattle. Perhaps between the two of you, you can find a few good recommendations that will help keep the schoolkids more safe.