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Turlock author educates children on kidnapping prevention
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In 1994 Turlocker Melinda Reynolds Tripp experienced an attempted kidnapping of her daughter’s best friend in Hilmar. That moment changed her career path forever as she decided that she wasn’t going to allow any other children fall victim to a kidnapping.

She went from being a teacher to working full time in abduction prevention education and safety. She even created her own curriculum to educate others on how to prevent child abductions.

“It is about turning fright time into flight time,” Tripp said.

Now, after 10 years of working with school districts all over California including the Turlock Unified School District, she has put her own curriculum into a book titled “What Should You Do?” Tripp introduced at her book at a preliminary release signing on Thursday night.

“This is really valuable,” said Karen Dubel, a kindergarten teacher at Crowell Elementary School. “It could save a couple of children because they do know what to do if something happened.”

Dubel has taught Tripp’s curriculum to her three daughters hoping that they will know what to do if they ever get lost or if someone tries to abduct them, she said.

Before Tripp wrote her book, she traveled all over the state putting together assemblies to educate teachers, parents and students on how to protect their children from abductions.

“It is a pretty good prevention program,” said John Christiansen, coordinator of child welfare and attendance for the Ceres Unified School District. “It built awareness on everyone’s part.”

The book has step by step ways to get away from an abductor or a stranger offering a child candy or a stranger trying to get a child to help them find a lost puppy, Dubel said. There are so many helpful tips to teach children to get out of possible abductions.   

This book helps teach children how to get out of a bad situation and run to a safe adult, Tripp said. There are things to help children be more aware and moves to help them get out of possible kidnappings.

Tripp’s book will be available to the public in bookstores all over the state on July 27 for the price of $10. It is currently being sold on the Tate Publishing Web site.

To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.