This letter comes to you from a concerned parent over an incident that occurred at Merrill Middle School on Oct. 1. As I was parked on Central Street, I observed several elderly men walking toward the sidewalks outside the school, where they stood holding boxes, waiting for the children to come out at the end of the school day. As the children walked by, they were handed a book titled, "New Testament Psalms/Proverbs" by The Gideon's International. I did not see the school staff ask the gentlemen to disband or move off the school property while I was there. I find this sort of incident to be inappropriate as strangers are approaching unattended children about sensitive material.
I think this is a risky practice and creates an opportunity for those with less wholesome intentions. If the school was aware of it ahead of time, it was not communicated to the parents. For all any parent knows, a pedophile pretending to promote God's word could use that to entice a child to follow them.
I would like to know if this is considered an acceptable practice by the City of Oshkosh and the school district and what protective practices are in place to ensure the children's safety.