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Attempted Abductions Cause Concerns

EUGENE, Ore. — Some parents are concerned for the safety of their children after an attempted abduction at a Eugene school.

This is the second incident in less than a month, leaving some parents questioning the security of the school.

One day after a reported attempted abduction at the Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion Elementary School, parents are taking extra precautions with their children.

“I usually just drop her off and let her walk in, but because of what’s going on I am going to take her in every day and go get her,” said parent Rory Anderson.

“Until things settle down a little bit, i just want to make sure he gets in the door,” said parent Nonda Kendrick.

Police say a 9-year-old girl was trying to use a water fountain on the south side of the school Monday when someone tried to grab her. She screamed and got away.

“This is absolutely a high priority for us and our school resource officers will be working diligently to solve this crime,” said Lt. Doug Mozan, Eugene Police Department.

Police are working with a sketch artists and witnesses to track down the suspect. This isn’t the first incident. A letter went out to parents on Nov. 20, 11 days after an incident in which a girl reported being grabbed from behind and briefly choked while walking in the breezeway.

“Perhaps the timing of that is something that we can always be assessing to try to improve how we communicate with families,” said Kerry Delf, 4J spokesperson.

Police say they don’t know if the two are related.

“I hope that they do something, you know. I’m nervous. It’s scary, and that’s the worst thing that a mother would want to happen,” said parent Niyah Ross.

Ross says she’s been unhappy with security at this school for a while.

“You don’t have to check in at the office. You’re supposed to, but it’s just kind of easy access,” Ross said.

“There’s a lot of openings around with the fencing,” Kendrick said.

“The school is working to get fencing completed constructed around the school to fill in the gaps that there are, and in the meantime we have a security guard who will be there during the entire time of school hours as well as before school and after school until that fencing is complete,” Delf said.

The district says student safety is its top priority and it just hopes the added security will prevent a similar incident from happening again.

EPD says parents should encourage kids to always use the buddy system. They should know who is picking them up–and a family password is encouraged so that a child only leaves with someone they know.

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