Emporia Police investigating after two students approached by stranger

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EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW)- Authorities in Emporia are investigating after two students said they were approached by a stranger as they left school Thursday.

According to KVOE Radio, USD 253 Superintendent Kevin Case said in a statement that a man approached the students near East 9th Ave. and Cottonwood Street at the south edge of William Allen White Elementary School's campus.

The man reportedly invited the children to go with him, but the students ran back to the school and reported the incident to a staff member. School officials immediately notified Emporia Police who put together an official report.

On Friday, Emporia Police release a photo of who they are calling a person of interest in the case. He's described as a white man, wearing sunglasses, a hooded jacket or coat, and light colored jeans or sweatpants.

Both students were unharmed, and Case commended the students for their smart and quick reaction.

The school district is reminding parents and staff members district wide to be vigilant and communicate with their children about not interacting with strangers near the playground or along the route to and from schools. They also remind the public to report any suspicious activity to police.

USD 253 Electronic Media Specialist Matt Fowler said in a statement: "Safety and security is of utmost importance with everything in Emporia Public Schools. We are very thankful that these students acted responsibly and with immediacy to come back to report this situation at their school. It is important to remind your students on how to react in these types of situations."

Emporia Police ask anyone with information to contact their department at (620) 343-4200 or Lyon Co. Crime Stoppers at (620) 342-2273.