MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — What happened to Jayme Closs is rare.

Less than one percent of abductions are from strangers and Jayme’s case is rare even within that one percent. Experts say parents should not downplay what happened to Jayme, but to use it as an important teaching moment.

Jayme Closs is a household name; first as a victim, then, as a hero. Her classmates watched as the Sheriff explained the news, “At school today, it was really happy and a lot of rejoicing that she was back.”

As the news spread across the airwaves, so did the fear.

Jane Straub educates children and parents on abductions. She works with the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.

“We certainly want to acknowledge for the next two or three weeks, kids are gonna be afraid and adults are afraid. Adults are very uncomfortable with this, so acknowledging what happened to Jayme, but reminding them that you are safe and you are safe with me,” she said.

Straub says of the Closs case, “Her parents, she didn’t do anything wrong, no one did anything wrong, this was a very rare occasion of a completely random crime against a child.”

She says in explaining Jayme’s case, perspective is key.

“This is one extreme example of a very bad person who did a really bad thing, but look at all the good people who did the right thing in this case,” Straub said. “Jayme was in a situation and she knew it wasn’t OK what was happening to her and she did what she could to get out. And even when she didn’t know that lady walking the dog, she knew that that was a safe adult because that adult wasn’t breaking her safety rules and she knew to go to that adult and get help and that’s what we want kids to know.”

Straub says kids don’t need to know all the details, but this case brings up a huge teaching moment about abductions in general.

Here are some basic tips:

– Tell kids to always check before they go anywhere
– Play and stay with a buddy
– Identify 5 adults you can always go to and talk with and trust
– Trust your gut
– No secrets with adults
– Private areas are private

This is a great time to have a family safety conversation. We’ve got more talking points for parents right here.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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