As children, we were always taught not to accept candy from strangers and not to ride with strangers. However, it seems that the danger most always comes, not from a stranger, but from someone the child knows.
One day we headed to the school bus stop knowing we were 'almost' late. We waited and waited. A man pulled up in a car and told us the school bus had already gone and that we had missed it, but that he would give us a ride to school. I would not even get close to his car but my brother was talking to him in spite of me trying to pull him away.
My brother said "I know him. That's Mr. Smith. He was my Sunday School teacher last year." I said "Well, I don't know him and I am not going. And you better not either." My brother had been going to church semi-regularly for awhile with friends. (I did not go. It wasn't my thing and my family were never church-goers. So there was no way that I knew this man.)
We argued a few minutes, while the man sat in his car and called out "Come on, or you're going to be more late!"
I was the oldest and it was my responsibility to get us off to school as my mother was most often hung over and asleep. She never saw us off in the morning. My dad worked a night shift and would not be home for a couple of hours. There was no way to ask permission to ride with this man. Waking my mother up would invoke a horrid wrath. My brother reminded me that we would probably get a beating if we woke her up and another beating if she knew we had missed the bus. Plus, we knew what her driving was like when she was drunk or hung over. She took down a lot of the neighbor's mailboxes in her path!
Even though I tried to physically pull him back, my brother shoved me and went with the man. I continued to wait for the bus a while longer, perhaps out of disbelief. Finally I walked back home.
My point in posting this is because I wonder if this is a common tactic of these type people to follow slightly behind school buses and approach children who have missed the bus? Today I notice that there is usually some parental supervision at many bus stops. It was not like that when I was growing up. And often, kids had to walk a couple of blocks from home to catch the bus.
I wonder, too, if statistics were known, how many pedophiles hide behind a church affiliation or some position in the church? And is this "godly authority" what frightens children into silence? My brother was an adult before he ever told anything about what happened that day and he never went into detail.