Back to school safety tips

By Jim McCabe on August 18 at 7:26am

With classes starting today at District 117 schools in Jacksonville, here are a few safety reminders.

The Red Cross says if children ride a bus to school, they should plan to get to their bus stop early and stand away from the curb.

Other safety steps for students include boarding the bus only after it’s come to a complete stop, only board your bus and never an alternate one, and always stay in clear view of the bus driver.

Motorists should watch out for red flashing lights and remember to stop behind the bus when they go on.

Speaking of drivers, Jacksonville Police Chief Tony Grootens has this advice:

“The first few weeks of school, we really concentrate our efforts on alerting people to the realization that there are school zones. Our officers have an ‘Adopt-a-School’ program, so every officer has a school that belongs to them,” says Grootens.

“He’ll be out there when school opens up and he’ll be running radar. He may very well issue warnings the first day, but after that, I wouldn’t count on it, because we’re real concerned about speeding in school zones.”

Students who ride their bike to school should always wear a helmet, obey all traffic signs and ride on the right side of the road. Those who walk to school should only cross the street at an intersection.

And the Red Cross reminds parents that emergencies can always happen, and to talk to your child’s teacher or school principal about the school’s plan and how you will be notified.

Tape a copy of your family’s contact numbers and meeting places to the inside of your child’s binder or homework notebook and in their book bag.

One other note: District 117 schools will dismiss an hour early due to the heat this week.