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school safety

  • Child Safety: Things Change

    This morning on my walk into the office I was joined by blurry eyed kids heading for their first day of school. This hasn’t changed, it happens every year about this time, just like Santa Claus at Christmas and the Easter Bunny at Easter. We expect it. For the second year in a row however, I’ve had a youngster stop me and ask where the school is. She was new to the area and in the 3rd or 4th grade, so I walked with her till she could get her bearings. This year a young man riding alone on his bike, was making his way to day #1 of the first grade. He was wearing a ball hat, and a brand new pair of tennis shoes, he politely asked if I knew where his school was. I’ll be honest with you, I was a little surprised and looked around to see if he was alone or there was some hidden camera somewhere. He was confident that I could help him, but there was concern in his eyes, so I tried my best to give him the directions. I soon gave up on it and just walked with him for a few blocks where I could introduce him to Linda the same crossing guard I mentioned in a previous blog. He would be able to recognize her by the HiVis Yellow vest and stop sign. She gave him a warm welcome andcrossing guard with child assured him things were going to be ok and would see him every day on this same corner. He breathed a sigh of relief.

    This is the first day of school, we get messages from safety advocates everywhere to “slow down in school zones,”make sure that when crossing streets you “look both ways and stay in the cross walks, walk together with friends, don’t accept rides from strangers.” There is even a greater presence of law enforcement ensuring the safety of our children. Is it just me? Or are some parents leaving the safety of their children up to others? Are they just too busy? Have things changed while I wasn’t looking? Normally parents and children are excited about the 1st day with new back packs, shoes and maybe a new jacket, or lunch bucket. Moms and dads made sure they get there in one piece so to speak, and safe in their new classroom. And now of course there is the whole issue of bullying and sexual predators.

    Yes maybe things have changed. We must learn to support each other. This reminds me, the crossing guard I referred to in a past blog, and now this one, has cancer, a topic we discussed in a previous blog. So I’m asking you to keep her in your thoughts and prayers, as well as all who are dealing with not just this dreadful disease but all who we rely on to help educate and keep our children safe. We must remember however that we are our children’s first teachers and safety advocates. Yes we need help but our children look to us first. This hasn’t changed. If we don’t teach them, then how will they know to teach their own?

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