As the first day of school approaches, families across Ventura County will prepare for the beginning of a new semester. In the midst of buying new backpacks, pencil boxes and school clothes, August is also a great time for families to review some basic safety rules with their students. Gold Coast Signal 88 Security is committed to a safe school year and has put together some talking points for parents to use with children of all-ages.
Elementary: Start safety discussions young. Make sure your youngest students know who to trust should they need help – teachers, nurse, principal, etc.
- Remind kids to obey crossing guards and to be cautious, especially during arrival and dismissal.
- Let your children know if they’ll be picked up, will be walking or riding the bus. Make sure they know where to locate their ride, if necessary.
- Parents, this one is for you: make sure emergency contact information is up-to-date and immunizations are current.
Middle School: Unfortunately, bullying can be an issue, especially among this age group. Nationally, about 70 percent of young people report they’ve seen bullying occur in their schools. But, when bystanders step in, physical bullying stops within 10 seconds nearly 60 percent of the time, according to StopBullying.gov.
- Teach your kids how to identify bullying by letting them know what it is and giving them examples. Also, point it out to them when you see bullying on TV or in a book so that they learn to identify it when it happens.
- Make it clear to your children that they can talk to you if they are being bullied and that you will take it seriously.
- Don’t assume the bullying is only occurring at school. Cyberbullies can target kids via text message and social media 24-7. Save text messages and take photos of anything on social media so that you have evidence if you need it.
High School: As young drivers may be navigating school zones for the first time, review the basic rules of the road.
- According to Consumer Reports, drivers should never pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children; it is illegal in all 50 states.
- Keep in mind that roads near schools may have slower speed limits during arrival and dismissal times than during non-school hours. Obey those posted speed limits – it’ll save you a ticket and ensure students are as safe as possible.
- The NHTSA reports that 23 million students in the U.S. take a bus to or from school. The greatest risk is not in riding the bus, but as children get on and off. They may or may not be paying proper attention, so it’s important drivers take necessary precautions.
Signal 88 can customize security plans for local schools, events and neighborhoods. If we can help make the 2014-2015 year safer, please give us a call.