It used to be that parents told children to be leery of strangers lurking around school playgrounds.
But in one Ohio town, they’re now warning them about a drone.
The Akron Public School District cautioned parents this week about a drone with “voice technology” that has reportedly tried to lure children off an elementary school playground.
“We’re used to watching our kids. We’re not used to watching the skies,” Megan Lee-Wilfong, principal of Windemere Community Learning Center, told WJW.
Daniel Rambler, Akron Public Schools director of student support services and security, told WKYC the drone “was trying to interact with” the children “to see if they would meet them at a dollar store which is about three blocks away from where the school is.”
One couple told the Akron Beacon Journal they heard their 13-year-old son speaking with the device. “It keeps saying ‘hey’ until you reply,” the teen said. Another student reportedly followed the drone to the Dollar Tree before his father intervened.
An Akron police spokesman told local media that it had not received any complaints about a drone.
But the reports concerned parents.
“That’s scary,” Hannah Adkins, a resident of the school’s neighborhood, told WJW, adding that since she had a daughter she worried about “some weirdo flying something around.”
Windemere’s principal sent a letter to parents on Monday, asking that an adult accompany any children who visit the school playground, which also serves as a community park, on off-hours, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
“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,” the letter said. “I know that children playing at school would seem safe, but without adequate adult supervision, anything can happen.”
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