When a Howell child reported that a strange man had tried to abduct her and put a bag over her head, of course the neighborhood was put on high alert. This happened in the Adelphia greens development, which luckily had cameras throughout and so police were able to do a thorough investigation. Officials are now saying that the bag incident probably never happened.

Obviously, this is not the first time that a child’s accusation turned out to be either exaggerated or simply false, but I believe there is a reason for this. Children are taught in this day and age that every stranger is a potential predator. Although there is a certain wariness that needs to be taught to children, we’ve gone overboard in the “stranger danger” education. It’s to the point where kids just assume that every man who’s in their neighborhood and seems unfamiliar is attempting to lure them. Since WE are paranoid, we’ve made our kids paranoid.

I can see how eventually imaginations could run wild. We’ve heard stories of men in neighborhoods simply looking for an address and the next thing you know the whole neighborhood is on the alert for a predator. Is it possible that we have put this fear into kids now to the point where they can’t tell the difference between reality and fantasy? Or does every single white van they see in the neighborhood contain a dangerous kidnapper?

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