13-Year Old Sylvester Middle School Student Sexually Harassed at Burger King


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On Thursday morning (April 5), a 13-year old female Sylvester Middle School student was cornered and sexually harassed at the Burger King near 4th Ave SW and SW 148th Street in Burien, according to a statement released by Principal Vicki Fisher.

Three adult males cornered and ‘hit on’ the girl, making sexual advances towards her, the school reported. An off-duty County Corrections Officer intervened and helped the girl get away from the men.

The incident was reported to the King County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Highline School District’s security office.

“Please take a moment in the next few days to talk with your children about staying safe and let them know to report any situations that don’t feel right to a parent or a trustworthy adult immediately,” reads an email sent out to parents. “This is particularly important as we move into Spring Break next week (4/9-4/13) and students will be out of school. The best way to help your children stay safe is to talk with them and prepare them with strategies for avoiding and/or dealing with situations that could arise.”

Here’s the full text of the email:

April 5, 2012

Re: Incident in the community involving Sylvester student

Dear Parent/Guardian,

This morning we became aware of an incident that occurred in the community at the Burien Burger King near 4th Ave and SW 148th St. involving one of our students. The incident occurred this morning before school and involved three adult males “hitting on” (making sexual advances toward) and then cornering a 13 year old girl preventing her from leaving the store. Luckily another patron, an off-duty County Corrections Officer, intervened so that the girl could get away from the men. The incident has been reported to the Sheriff’s office and the school district security office, but we wanted to make all Sylvester parents/guardians aware of the situation so you can speak with your children about staying safe while out in the community.

Please take a moment in the next few days to talk with your children about staying safe and let them know to report any situations that don’t feel right to a parent or a trustworthy adult immediately. This is particularly important as we move into Spring Break next week (4/9-4/13) and students will be out of school. The best way to help your children stay safe is to talk with them and prepare them with strategies for avoiding and/or dealing with situations that could arise. Below are a few talking points to discuss with your student, please use them as a way to start the conversation, if you find them helpful.

Ways for students to stay safe:

  1. Always get permission from your parent before going somewhere and if given permission make sure they know where you will be at all times and for how long.
  2. Stay in groups and avoid separating off by yourself.
  3. Avoid secluded areas, including when walking from one destination to another. Use main sidewalks with more foot traffic and avoid cutting through alleyways or other secluded areas .
  4. Avoid being out while it’s dark outside (in the mornings or evenings).
  5. Carry a cell phone so you can call for help, if needed.

We at Sylvester Middle School want to ensure that students are prepared to make great choices both in and out of school. If you have questions, please contact me at 206-631-6000.

Sincerely,
Principal Vicki Fisher

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