Dressing like Waldo, admin hopes to spark student awareness

Light hearted approach gets attention on If You See Something, Say Something Day

If You See Something Say Something Day. is an annual event started by the Department of Homeland Security after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, to promote reporting suspicious activity. In Frisco ISD See Something Say Something Awareness Day is recognized on Sept. 30.

My big thing is if something big does happen and you feel unsafe, that you do notify us and let us know,”

— assistant principal Jason Harris

On campus, that meant bringing Where’s Waldo to life on Friday as school administrators dressed like Waldo and placed themselves throughout campus in an attempt to encourage students to report suspicious or unusual behavior on campus. 

Although some students may be reluctant to report something they see  or hear, it’s something School Resource Officer Glen Hubbard encourages.

“Most of the information that comes to tips, people seeing things is legitimate,” School Resource Officer Glen Hubbard said. “Most of them don’t turn out to be huge deals. These days, we really can’t take that chance. But everybody has that gut feeling on a lot of things and there’s usually some truth to it.”

While the campaign for See Something Say Something has a broad scope, assistant principal Jason Harris wanted to find a way to adapt it on campus.

“Central Office sent out a notification that there was a day set aside for See Something, Say Something,” Harris said. “So [principal Stacy Whaling and I] sat down and kind of talked about it and we wanted to…have some fun with the kids for that day.” 

Together, Whaling and Harris worked to adjust the campaign and the day to something that students would understand.

“We’re talking about and then so I said, Hey, maybe we could dress up for something and stick around and whatever kid finds us, gets a prize,” Harris said. “And then [Whaling] said, ‘What about Waldo?’ so that’s where Waldo comes in.”

Harris hopes that the recognition of See Something Say Something Day and the use of Waldo helps students understand the importance of reporting.

“My big thing is if something big does happen and you feel unsafe, that you do notify us and let us know ” Harris said. “A lot of teenage behavior, y’all guys are not going to let us know. But if somebody’s life is in danger, or if you see somebody committing an unsafe act, or if you see somebody that you don’t think should be on this campus, that you would definitely report it to us as soon as possible.”

Most things turn out to be nothing or benign, but sometimes they’re real,”

— School Resource Officer Glen Hubbard

For many students on campus, Where’s Waldo has provided a degree of insight into the importance of reporting.

“I didn’t see Waldo today,” junior Mauli Karapurkar said. “But, I think that also says something too. Just because I don’t see something doesn’t mean that it’s not happening, which is why it’s really important for [students] to report anything suspicious we see.”

Hubbard believes that students have a role in notifying staff in order to keep the campus safe.

“Most things turn out to be nothing or benign, but sometimes they’re real,” Hubbard said. “And without actually taking that step to check in and out in the first place, we would never know.”

Department of Homeland Security media release