2013-08-14 / Front Page

Student Safety: Everyone’s responsibility

With school safety a growing concern, safety measures have been taken in Early County schools which will enhance the emergency procedures already in place.

Local school officials attended a Safe Schools meeting at the Southwest Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency last spring and several improvements have been made which will help make the schools safer.

To help be prepared for any number of emergencies, an emergency procedures manual has been distributed to all school personnel which contains detailed information addressing two dozen possible emergencies which could endanger students.

In addition to coordinating a response plan with the sheriff’s department, the schools have already held “intruder drills” to help teachers and administrators know how to react.

Also, security improvements funded with E-SPLOST monies include an upgrade of internal security cameras in all schools, additional exterior security cameras to include all areas of the high school property and an upgrade of exterior door locks at all schools to include buzzers and intercom.

School Bus Safety

Students in Early County Elementary School and Early County Middle School study school bus safety as part of their health and personal fitness curriculum. Early County High School is also adding a bus safety component to their curriculum.

In addition to bus safety and behavior rules posted on each bus, students and their parents also have access to those rules and procedures in each school’s student handbook.

In the past year, state officials have inspected close to 20,000 school buses to ensure child safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes, “Riding on a school bus is the safest way for your child to travel to and from school.” However, in recent years, Georgia has been among the nation’s leaders number of school bus-related deaths.

Since 1995, nine children in Georgia have been killed while getting in or out of buses.

While the school bus itself is safe, the 10 feet in front, behind and on each side of a stationary school bus constitute a danger zone. When you see a school bus pull to a stop and flash its signals, make sure you come to a complete stop as well.

If a school bus driver reports you’ve passed a bus improperly, you’ll be fined $300 for a first offense, $750 for a second offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense during a fiveyear period. You’ll also rack up six points on your driving record for each violation.

For more information about Georgia School Bus Stop Laws and Georgia school bus laws click on “operation Stop Arm” at www.earlycountynews.com.

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