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Issaquah, Washington
January 28, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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January 28, 2009

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2009 A3 Officials: Children should still be taught to stay safe BY CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK AND J.B, WOGAlg While an alleged child abduction Jan. 19 turned out to be a hoax, school, district officials said child abductions do happen, and it's best to be cautious around strangers. They are reminding parents and students that they should: always walk to and from school or other locations in groups. use paved walkways -- not shortcuts through wooded areas. not interact with unknown peo- ple or animals. For families interested in learning more involved self-defense tactics, there are a few options in the area. True Martial Arts, in the Pine Lake Village, offers self-defense seminars, as does Karate West, on East Lake Sammamish Parkway. In response to the alleged kid, napping incident, True Martial Arts has scheduled a free public safety course. "We felt a void and we just want- ed to step up, said Skyler Zoppi, co-owner of True Martial Arts. Children can also enroll in sea- sonal youth karate classes through the Issaquah Parks and Recreation Department. Karate West will also have a free public seminar, said Randy Holeman, co-owner of Karate West, who teaches the Step Defense Program at Issaquah schools, as well as to other youth groups. "With little children, the main thing they can do is bite," he said. For children 11 or older, there are techniques they can learn to slip out of someone's grasp -- it ON1HEWEB Learn more about self-defense classes at: www.truemartialarts.com, www.karatewest com, www.kungfuc/ubissaquah.com and http://issaquahparks.ci.issaqu ah.wa.us GET FREE TRAINING True Martial Arts 11 a.m. - noon Jan, 31 2912 228th Ave. S.E., Sammamish 313-9680 Karate West Noon - 1 p.m.Jan. 31 3310 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E., Sammamish 391-4444 depends on the difference in size and strength between the child and adult, he explained, But children should do every- thing in their power not to get into a grab situation, according to Johann Sasynuik, a kung fu instructor from Fall City. Sasynuik had a kung fu studio on Front Street from 1993-2008 and still teaches students from Issaquah. Today, he teaches a youth class three times a week in Fall City. "The fact of it is, if it's some 6- foot guy, you're not likely to beat him," he said. You're better off, in the long run, avoiding that." If your child encounters a danger- ous situation with a stranger, school district officials recommend using part of the Step Defense Program: Step back away from the stranger. Keep a "bubble of safety" of at least 15 feet between you and the stranger. Once you are more than 15 feet away, the chances of him or her re-engaging you are small. Draw attention to yourself by ,y, elling as loud as you can. Yelling 'stranger" rather than "help" lets everyone within earshot know that this is not a game. Get slippery. Pull your arms into your chest (without crossing them), making you harder to grab by the arms. Run to safety -- any place where there are other people. First choice is to run to adults. The second choice is to run to children. Never run and hide. You need witnesses. The rules to running: Look where you are running (not behind you). You are not allowed to get tired until you are safe. Bite. If a stranger grabs you, fight back. You do not need to become a victim. The best weapon for every- one is biting. The human bite has between 100 and 200 pounds of pressure. Rules to biting: Step toward the attacker; bite whatever is closest; bite as hard as you can; and don't stop biting until he or she lets you go. Then, run to safety. Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@iss- press.corn or Reporter J.B. Wogan at ext. 247 or jbwogan@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com. Focus groups to discuss equity in the high schools BY CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK District officials and community members are examining the future of programming and curriculum at Issaquah's high schools. In the wake of last year's kinder- garten through 12th-grade bound- ary review, questions regarding programming and curricula equity among the high schools arose. To address those questions, dis- trict officials have created the Optimal High School Experience leadership team, made up of dis- trict officials and high school prin- cipals Dana Bailey, Mike DeLetis, Lisa Hechtman, Ed Marcoe and Paula Phelps. Patrick Murphy, the district s executive director of high schools, is also on the team. The team is charged with evalu- ating the experiences of students at each high school and investing in curricula and programming to streamline experiences for all stu- dents. The team is also selecting participants to share their experi- ences in community forums. Forum participants will include district staff members, students, parents and community members. "It is our intent that the focus groups will represent a wide range of experiences in our schools, from the high achieving student to the struggling, from the actively involved parent to the less connect- ed, from the core academic teacher to the elective teacher, to the secre- tary, to the educational assistant, and other classified staff and district staff," Murphy wrote in an e-mail. All members of the community ON1HEWEB Go to www.issaquah.wednet.edu, click "Optimal High School Experience" under =What's Happening" I[YOU GO Focus group mootla~ at the high schools: Feb. 2 at Skyline Feb. 10 at Uberty Feb. 25 at Tiger Mountain Community Feb. 26 at Issaquah Starling times have not yet been set are invited to observe the forums, provide follow-up input, review materials and take surveys. "The focus groups is only one way to gather information,? Murphy wrote. "As we move forward, the leadership team will look to imple- ment other ways to gather informa- tion from the community to best help us in this important work." Data from the forums will help the team develop plans that "guides our approach to learning, decision- making and allocation of resources to shape a quality high school expe- rience to meet our students' unique needs and prepare them for post- graduation opportunities," accord- ing to the district's Web site. Five principals will guide those plans: Access: Students must have max- imum academic access to programs, dunnybrook 9gon/e son i Celebrates 10 years! i r14ends & Staff Old & New Please joi..s to celdx-ate 10 great years of eduadlion in Issaquah! Saturday, February 7 Noon to 2pro dunngbrook ( THEN The district's boundary review brought about concerns about equity among the high schools. District officials and community members were asked to examine high school education and see what investments can be made. NOW Focus groups will meet in February to discuss the future of high school philosophy and pro- gramming in the district. NEXT The groups will meet with the dis- trict's high school leadership team to discuss concerns, philosophy and equity among curricula and programs, and possible future investments. faculty and instruction that best meet the needs of those students. Connectivity: Students should feel connected to their school .bY having positive relationships with faculty and others in school. Citizenship: There should be opportunities for students to think and act beyond themselves, and build compassion and respect for others. Resiliency: Students are provid- ed a safe and structured environ- ment, which allows them to move in or out of their comfort zones to experience new opportunities. Expression: Students must have multiple opportunities to express themselves. To help fulfill these goals, princi- pals will evaluate changes they can make, like new classes, new grad- uation requirements, and mental and physical health resources. Family and Smile Design Dentistry Dr. Kelley Fisher, DDS hatual psticat testimonial - Chris "I went to Dr. Fisher m save my worn teeth. Other dentists had told me that nothing could be done about my smile. The fact that I got a great smile is a pleasant side effect to correcting the total problem. The staffis kind and respectful of my time. I would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great dentist!" .... f/ Family and/C6smetic O~ 425-392-1256 600 NW Gilman Blvd., Ste D, Issaquah www.DrKFisher.cam Hoax: 'A truly heinous - 9 crime FROM PAGE A1 had it occurred, and we pulled out all the stops and put a tremen- dous amount of resources into it," he said. "I've been asked, would we do anything different in hind- sight, andthe answer is no, we wouldn't have done anything dif- ferent." Even though the allegation was proven false, two business owners decided to still hold classes to teach children how to be safe if strangers approach them. A story later recanted The girl told police she was abducted in the Madison Place neighborhood at about 4:30 p.m. She said a man driving an old, beat-up blue truck grabbed her, locked her in his vehicle and threw her bike in the back. The girl told police that because she began kicking and screaming at the man -- who she described as having a reddish-dark com- plexion, dark hair, approximately 6 feet tall with a thin build and in his 30s -- released her unharmed at the Summer Hill Apartments on Issaquah-Fall City Road Southeast, about a mile and a half from her home. She said she ran to a nearby residence where a woman let her use the phone to call her parents, who were by then meeting with King County deputies. When the ,g~,) was reunited with her parents, ' She kept saying she was scared," the girl s father said Jan. 23. "I told her, 'Daddy s here. You're safe.' I kept repeating that." People reached out to the fami- ly, helping them with day-to-day support. The girl's classmates drew countless cards and sent well-wishes to her home. Local businesses and organiza- tions began planning children s self-defense seminars; many oth- ers posted the girl's description of her abductor and the police sketch of the suspect. The girl told her parents the night of Jan. 24 that she had made the story up, and her par- ents promptly notified detectives investigating the case. "We had a long talk," her father said of his daughter. "I asked her if anyone ever talked to her in a way that made her uncomfortable in any way, or if any adult had touched her in an area that made her feel uncomfortable, and if that was why she did this. She said that wasn't why." He said the family is working on finding out why she made up the story, but she has been consistent with saying it hasn't been due to trauma; she is undergoing coun- seling. School officials respond Schools sent e-mail bulletins to several areas, alerting parents and others about the abduction and tips for parents and children to stay safe. Residents, like Amber Pickett, a mother and personal nanny, noticed a big change in the Klahanie neighborhood. "In just the past day, I've noticed a difference in the amount of kids that are out there," she said Jan. 21, adding that she was taking precautions, like not going out with the three children she cares for, without additional adult supervision. Incidents of strangers approaching students near school campuses at Cascade Ridge Elementary School and Beaver Lake Middle School were reported in September, October and January. Reports about them were sent out in individual school communications, but not to the district's entire population. "I would like the district to send out an alert every time an incident occurs districtwide to parents of all schools in the district," said Miho Reed, a parent of students at Beaver Lake and Cascade Ridge. "It doesn't just affect a particular school or community, it affects the entire community." After the girl's report was proven to be false, district officials sent word to school principals, who disseminated it in their E- news bulletins if they felt it was necessary. "Officers are no longer investi- gating the case or looking for a suspect," Endeavour's E-news said Jan. 26. "While this news will hopefully help parents in sur- rounding neighborhoods feel more at ease, let's not forget the important reminder about contin- ually talking to children about stranger safety. Although we did not have an emergency situation last week -- let's make sure that stays true for the future, as well." The trouble ~th false reports False reports can divert time and energy from a department's THE FAMILYAPOLOGIZES The family issued this statement Jan. 26: "Having learned from our daughter that the reported abduction did not occur, our family would like to sincerely apologize to the community for the disruption and worry that this has caused, and the diver- sion of law enforcement from other matters. =Our concerns this past week have been not only for the safety and well-being of our children, but also for all of the children in our neighborhood and community. "For the community at large, we hope that this false alarm will not lessen the recognition of the need to carefully watch out for the safety of our children against what remains an unfor- tunate possibility in this da~ and age: force, said Issaquah Police Cmdr. Stan Conrad. It is also illegal. In the past, officers have inves- tigated several serious crimes, like sexual assault, assaults, and abductions, that turned out to be false, he said. In one case, a teenager claimed he was set on fire, Conrad said. But the boy was actually injured while doing a stunt similar to those seen on the former MTV show "Jackass." He had gotten hurt more than he thought he would and didn't want to admit that to his parents. "The reality is, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, we take all reports seriously and allocate the proper resources to investigate them," he said. "Obviously, it can really hurt our availability ff we are tied up investigating a false allegation. It diverts resources and eats up time we could spend on other reports." Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@iss- press.com. Comment on this story at www. issaquahpr ess. com. Correction In a story in the Jan. 14 Press, a company was identified incorrect- ly. Applied Organics helps build large, fiber socks for Cedar Grove Composting's living wall projects. Your back will tell you when it's time to come to one of our spine surgery seminars. If it's hard to get through your day without back pain getting m the way, come to a free seminar and learn about options for getting some lastihg relief. An expert spine surgeon from Swedish will let you know about promising non-surgical options, as well as new surgical techniques that offer faster recovery times. Reserve },our spot now. 'Ihen come find out how Swedish -- the hospital that does the most spine surgeries in Washington --- (:an silence your back's pain for good. FREE BACK PAIN SEMINAR Tuesday, Feb. 10, 6-8 p.m. Swedish/issaquah Campus 2005 N.W. Sammamish Road, lssaquah SWEDISH To reserve your .spot, call 206-386-2502, or visit swedish.org/dasses