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Old 06-10-2019, 02:38 PM
 
1,560 posts, read 775,311 times
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Kids are not normally driven to school buses, school buses pick them up in their neighborhood. And a teenager who doesn't know how to contact her parents? Very fishy. I don't know what I would have done, probably just offered to call the school for her so they could contact her parents. Schools HAVE to have contact info for parents/guardians.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:49 PM
 
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I would have been suspicious and called the police. One thing, tho..... apparently young people are no longer memorizing phone numbers because the numbers are all programmed into their phones. Although if she doesn't own a phone it seems she should at least know her home phone if it's a landline or have a number for her parents. I think there was a scam involved.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:50 PM
 
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Did this teen seem to have any learning disabilities? Or was English not her first language? Those are the only two reasons that I can think of to explain why she didn't know how to contact a parent.

Either way, OP, you did the right thing by not offering her a ride. So many things could have gone wrong.
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Sugarland
13,752 posts, read 12,715,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOS2IAD View Post
Did this teen seem to have any learning disabilities? Or was English not her first language? Those are the only two reasons that I can think of to explain why she didn't know how to contact a parent.

Either way, OP, you did the right thing by not offering her a ride. So many things could have gone wrong.
No, she wasn’t foreign and didn’t appear to have learning disabilities from what I could tell. I do wonder how she would’ve responded if I had said “Ok, wait here. I’ll call the cops to help you.”
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:12 PM
 
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Another thought I had while hacking weeds out of my garden: maybe you could have asked, "How can I help?" She approached you for some reason but never made it clear what she wanted. I'm not saying you should have done whatever she asked- you could have thought about possible risks- but it might have been something you were willing to do. Making a call from your phone would have been an example but you'd said she didn't seem to know any useful phone numbers. Opening your wallet to give her money or letting her into your car would have been risky since the guy you saw her with later may have been an accomplice.

I like the idea of telling the police about it even though it's in the past.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:14 PM
 
16,089 posts, read 17,884,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraG View Post
Just checked, Houston schools are out for summer.
It is possible that she was going to summer school. My grandson is doing that and they do have buses for the class he is going to.

Still suspicious, but you never know.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:41 PM
 
928 posts, read 255,097 times
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Yes, seems odd. I've surmounted similar at a much younger age. My parents always taught me how to help myself, which included knowing my information-- I can't recall any phone number I've had for most of my life, but my childhood phone number is still memorized; it was drilled into my head from the time I was very small.

I guess I can understand not knowing a parent's phone number if you're always dialing it from your phone's contacts rather than memory, but wouldn't that imply she has a phone, so why not use it?

She got dropped off. By whom? I thought she was waiting for a bus at school? Who was picking her up from school and dropping her in random parking lots, and why wouldn't that person then just take her home? Why wouldn't any of her friends who must have known her situation offer for her to come to their house and possibly get a ride from their parent. or offer the use of a phone to call hers?


Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
As the police asked me one time , what does a killer or kidnapper look like exactly ? do you think maybe she had been missing for a while and did not know where she was ? I think you should have called 911 immediately and asked them to send an officer out to where you all were and maybe she could have gotten help. why are people so hesitant to use 911 that is what it is there for … I hope she got some help if she needed it .
People worry about taking resources away from real emergencies. People worry about turning a molehill into a mountain-- what if she really was just a lost kid but now she has the police taking her home and possibly asking into her family life, etc. (it's possible this might be warranted, or it's possible it might create trouble where none needs to exist.)

Certainly I hope someone is able to let her parents know they need to do a better job of making sure that A. she knows how to contact them in an emergency and B. she has the critical-thinking skills to know what to do. Like to know how to contact her parents, contact the police or school or friends herself, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gus2 View Post
After reading the responses here, I am changing my opinion. It sounded very off, and I agree with the previous posters who said to follow your instincts. That said, a young teen by herself in a parking lot is not right. I assume that the businesses in the strip mall were all closed at this time?

So, I'm going to change my vote and agree that calling the police is best for everyone's safety.
If it's right after school? I certainly hope they're not closed by the middle of the afternoon.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Sugarland
13,752 posts, read 12,715,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
Another thought I had while hacking weeds out of my garden: maybe you could have asked, "How can I help?" She approached you for some reason but never made it clear what she wanted. I'm not saying you should have done whatever she asked- you could have thought about possible risks- but it might have been something you were willing to do. Making a call from your phone would have been an example but you'd said she didn't seem to know any useful phone numbers. Opening your wallet to give her money or letting her into your car would have been risky since the guy you saw her with later may have been an accomplice.

I like the idea of telling the police about it even though it's in the past.
Oh no, I think the guy who she was talking to after me was someone who she approached who was either in the process of going into or coming out of Starbucks. But yes, I would agree with your suggestion of asking how can I help because it would’ve been easier for me to respond to a specific request.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Hampstead NC
5,578 posts, read 5,093,804 times
Reputation: 14060
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatTX View Post
Kids are not normally driven to school buses, school buses pick them up in their neighborhood. And a teenager who doesn't know how to contact her parents? Very fishy. I don't know what I would have done, probably just offered to call the school for her so they could contact her parents. Schools HAVE to have contact info for parents/guardians.
No, lots of school districts have elaborate routing to get kids to magnet schools, etc. Sometimes there are central locations for pick up.

She could also have been under the influence and or homeless. There are lots of explanations. Regardless of what they were, it wouldn't have hurt for someone to check in with her.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Winterpeg
881 posts, read 335,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodestar View Post
Guess you're not aware of the number of teens with serious mental health issues, learning disabilities or who are being victimized. Or maybe you don't care?

At any rate they are also in Canada and maybe you'll learn about them there. Some Canadians are also aware.

If you do run into this kind of situation, though, it's best not to try to handle it yourself unless you have training in these issues or you may find yourself in up to your neck.
Nice dig. I'm very aware of issues, I worked with teenagers for a couple of decades.

The only comment I made about this was all the "Call 911". 911 where I've lived has always been for people in actual need of immediate emergency services. It's not for "hey, I wasn't sure who to call" calls. Our emergency services departments recently had a PSA campaign asking people to not clog up the 911 system for non-emergencies. That's what the non-emergency number is for.
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