This is a new kind of stranger danger parents need to be aware of.
I warn my kids not to take candy from strangers, or approach a car they don't recognize. I've also cautioned them against talking to adults who aren't teachers or parents of friends. But never did I ever think to alert my children to the danger of a drone. Until now.
According to the principal of Windemere Community Learning Center in Akron, Ohio, drones have been spotted above their school playground on several occasions. Megan Lee-Wilfong told WJW about the adults who spotted the high-flying gadgets, "They shared with me that this drone has some type of voice capability and that they were communicating with the kids that were up here playing, talking to them." She added, "We're used to watching our kids. We're not used to watching the skies."
What parent would be? But now, understandably, this spy tech in the presence of a playground has parents concerned, especially given that it's potentially able to talk to children, and lure them away. Daniel Rambler, Akron Public Schools Director of Student Support Services and Security told WKYC, "The drone was trying to interact with [kids]... Wanted to see if they would meet them at a dollar store which is about three blocks away from where the school is."
A 13-year-old who plays at the park told the Akron Beacon Journal about the high-flying gadget, "It keeps saying 'hey' until you reply."
Anyone else have chills?
The school district has since sent out a letter warning parents. It said in part, "If you are allowing your child to come to school to play in the evenings or on the weekends, please make sure that he/she is accompanied by an adult. I know that children playing at school would seem safe, but without adequate adult supervision, anything can happen.
Lee-Wilfong also urges parents to have a new kind of stranger danger talk with their children.
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Melissa Willets is a writer, mom and coffee devotee. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of yoga.