A pair of parents of students at Bubb Elementary School said that they thought the Mountain View Whisman School District could have alerted them sooner to the March 29 incident on the Bubb campus, where a man reportedly lunged at a 9-year-old female student.
The email, which ultimately alerted all district parents of the incident, was sent at about 12:15 p.m., about 20 minutes after all students at the school were dismissed at 11:50 a.m.
"It would have been nice to hear a little bit earlier," Amy Valencia, the mother of an 8-year-old girl who attends Bubb. She called the incident "unnerving," noting that the 9-year-old girl who was accosted by the man could have been her daughter.
Valencia wondered why the school and the district did not alert her and other parents sooner after the incident, which occurred at about 8:45 a.m. However, she added, "Other than that, I think they handled it well."
Craig Goldman, superintendent of the district, defended Mountain View Whisman's response, saying that the district wanted to make sure it had all the facts before reporting to parents.
"It would have been inappropriate to push out information that was potentially inaccurate or inflammatory," Goldman said. "We worked very closely and expeditiously with the police department to ensure that the information we shared was accurate and reflected the appropriate level of concern."
The district sent out the alert email within 15 minutes of concluding its meeting with the Mountain View Police Department, Goldman said. "We understand that in this day and age of instant communication, many parents expect instantaneous communication, but we still have a responsibility to do due diligence."
Goldman noted that many parents sent out mass emails ahead of the district's official notice, drawing connections between the incident at Bubb and another event involving a cyclist who stopped outside of the St. Simon private school in Los Altos.
While the man was initially deemed suspicious, Los Altos police later concluded that the man was not a threat to the children at that school, nor did he have any connection to the Bubb incident.
"We certainly did not want to feed into a sense of alarm that wasn't warranted," Goldman said.
Richard Haten, who also has a daughter at Bubb, said he would have liked to have been notified earlier. He said he never received any notice -- via email, or otherwise -- of the incident.
Even if he had received an email, Haten said he would have preferred a phone call.
Goldman said that a prerecorded mass phone call could have been put together, but that it would have taken even more time than the mass email.
Haten said he would like to see the school district install security cameras at all schools.
Goldman said the district has been planning to install security cameras at its campuses. "We're hoping that with the passage of the (Measure G) bond that we will be able to install surveillance cameras at all of our school sites," he said.