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A school in Phuket Town has issued a warning about an alleged attempted child abduction in front of the school by a man driving a white van.
The warning is in response to Facebook posts urging parents to take precautions to ensure their children’s safety, Winai Suriyaprakan, Director of Plookpanya Municipal School, told The Phuket News this afternoon.
“We have yet to confirm the incident actually took place. The school thought it best to take prudent steps to ensure the safety of children as our top priority while we sort this out,” Mr Winai explained.
The letter issued by Mr Winai said, “Some parents have published details on Facebook about protecting students because of a van that was parked in front of Plookpanya School, and then a man came to talk with a student who was sitting alone at the stairs at the main gate of the school, close to the school sign.
“After that, the man took a piece of cloth to cover the mouth and nose of the student, but the student escaped and shouted to friends. The man ran away to the van and left.”
“The incident is being investigated,” Mr Winai wrote. “In the meantime the school asks parents to ensure they safely pick up and drop off their children to and from the school.”
If parents cannot come to pick up children immediately after after school, the children must wait in front of the school’s public relations room, where a teacher will be on duty until 5pm, Mr Winai explained.
Students will not be permitted to leave school grounds until a parent picks them up.
“Hopefully, parents understand the measures the school is taking under these circumstances. We thank you for your co-operation,” Mr Winai wrote.
The Phuket News this afternoon also received a copy of a similar warning reportedly issued Anubaan Phuket (“Phuket Kindergarten”). However, The Phuket News has yet to confirm that warning is official.
“Plookpanya has about 3,000 students here at the school,” Mr Winai also explained today. “Parents often do not pick up their children until quite late, so we needed to issue the letter so they would understand what is happening.
“Meanwhile, we have teams of teacher who will stay behind after school to make sure the children are collected safely by their parents,” he said.