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Student harassment latest in ongoing Seattle problem

Police continue patrols along routes to school in West Seattle. (AP)

A man in his mid-20s grabbed a Madison Middle School student and then followed the child to McDonald’s in West Seattle Thursday.

After leaving the restaurant on California Avenue, the man continued to follow the student, asking for money and calling the child names, according to the Seattle School District.

Related: Seattle Police increasing patrols around West Seattle schools after robberies, thefts

Police say student assault and harassment continue to be an issue in West Seattle and the city in general.

“This is always an issue that police — and parents and children — have to be worried about,” said Seattle Police Detective Patrick Michaud.

Additional police patrols remain in areas frequented by students, which include routes typically used to get to school. The police department uses SeaStat to follow trends, which help guide where officers patrol, Michaud explained.

West Seattle isn’t the only neighborhood dealing with student harassment. It has seemed to gain more attention because of all the recent reports, however.

“It’s not an isolated issue, it does happen around the city,” Michaud said. “People are taking notice in West Seattle because there have been these reports that continue to get attention.”

After being grabbed, followed and yelled at by the man on Thursday, the student ran to Madison Middle School to report the incident.

“This is an ongoing conversation that parents need to have with their children,” Michaud said. “They need to continue to let their kids know, hey, this is what you’re supposed to do in these situations.”

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