As a child of the 70s and early 80s, I can remember many carefree summer days being spent riding my bike to my neighborhood friends' houses, walking blocks with them without parental supervision to get ice cream, getting dropped off at the movies and generally, for most of the time, being somewhere where adults couldn't reach us. We didn't have smartphones back then, and didn't need them. The world just wasn't the scary place as we know it today and our innocent minds didn't know about child molesters and kidnappers.
Then in 1981, a little boy by the name of Adam Walsh was abducted while he was alone in the toy section of a Sears department store. The authorities later discovered his body and that he had been decapitated (I was 9 at the time, and horrified to learn that he had been found without his head.) A couple of years later, a TV movie about Adam's disappearance and murder was broadcast and suddenly, the world became a very sinister place, and the movement known as "Stranger Danger" was formed.
Suddenly, and with good reason, kids had to be taught to be more streetwise with adults that they did not know. The program has come under criticism because it fails to teach kids that most child abductors and molesters are often someone that the child actually knows.
Needless to say, this is serious business...until I came across the following video clip, which appears to be from the late 80s or early 90s. It is not supposed to be funny but I can't help it--it simply is. I defy anyone to watch it and keep a straight face. Whoever did the casting brought together a great collection of dorky actors who look like social deviants--except for the battery girl towards the beginning, who many male viewers on YouTube said was hot and that they would follow her anyday. And the dude threatening that he would kill the boy's dog if he told anyone--intense!
Do you remember being taught Stranger Danger growing up?
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