Safety first: Review behavior as students head back to school Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler   
Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 -- 12:00 AM

Editor's View by Mary C. Uhler

Soon millions of students from pre-school through college will be heading  back to school. Many of them will be walking, riding their bikes, or taking the bus to and from school.

I can still remember walking about eight blocks to Blessed Sacrament School in La Crosse (we did get car rides in bad weather) when I was in grade school. When I was older, I was able to ride my bicycle.

Usually I walked or rode with my friends. Most of the time we didn’t encounter any problems, but there were a few bullies who tried to bother us. I can remember one boy who stole my sweater and ran it up a flagpole!

That was the worst thing that happened to me, but I’m sure kids today can run up against more serious problems. That’s why it’s important for parents to review safe behavior before their children return to school.

Back-to-school safety resources

Families have  a new resource available to them to help drive home the message of back-to-school safety. The National Safety Council (NSC) and First Student, Inc., the nation’s leader in student transportation, have teamed up to create a safety awareness campaign and a back-to-school safety Web site ( chock-full of important safety tips and information.

“We are pleased to partner with the National Safety Council on this important back to school program,” said Gary Catapano, senior vice president of Safety for First Student.  “School buses are the safest form of transportation on the road today, and it is critical that everyone has access to this important safety information and does their part to keep students safe when traveling to and from school.”

The Back-to-School Safety site features checklists and safety precautions parents can review with their children to help keep students safe while walking, riding bikes and taking the bus to and from school.  In addition, key facts about teen driving, playground and backpack safety are included, as is important information on bullying signs and prevention.

Everyone needs to help

Besides students, it’s also important that everyone pays attention to safety.  Drivers should stay alert and heed the school bus signals when children are getting on and off the school bus. Motorists should also pay attention to speed limits, especially in school zones.

Parents should also be careful when dropping off their children at school. Those school parking lots can be hazardous if parents don’t follow proper drop-off procedures.

Let’s keep students, teachers, principals, parents, and all those connected with our schools in our prayers as they begin another year. Let’s hope it is a safe, happy, and productive experience. God bless all of you!