Editorial cartoon

Floyd County students will return to classes this week, and there’s no better time to point out just how important it is that we all work together to keep them safe.

We understand that life is often busy and chaotic, that people have plenty of places to go and things to do and that there are even plenty of reasons for drivers to be in a hurry. But, if that driver is near a school zone, and by speeding or driving recklessly, he or she is putting our students at risk, there are absolutely no reasons that make doing that okay.

We ask our readers to be cautious when driving in and near school zones this year. Not just on opening day. Not just during the first week of school, but all year. 

Obey speed limits, especially in school zones. Don’t text or Google something while driving. If a school bus’ stop sign is displayed, stop and give those children plenty of room to get safely off the roadway. 

Be patient. These are our children. 

Drivers should be mindful about making a complete stop when children are getting on or off a school bus. And they should also be mindful when driving near schools because not every vehicle that pulls out of a school parking lot is a school bus. Parents who are dropping their kids off or picking them up need to be careful when backing up in parking lots or pulling out onto a highway. Remember what they taught you in Driver’s Ed, look twice, both ways. 

Most importantly, parents should talk to their kids about bus safety. They can help set the bar for their own children and help them understand why it’s important that they don’t walk in the back of a bus or, while exiting the bus, why they shouldn’t bend over to pick something up without letting the bus driver know. Parents should also be willing to reach out to school administrators or local law enforcement who patrol school zones in the mornings and afternoons and tell them when they see a safety issue that needs to be addressed. Don’t ignore these things. Speak up and tell someone about them. 

We all play a role in the safety of our children, and their lives are too important for any of us to be lax about their safety. The old saying is that it takes a village to raise a child. In that, we have no doubt. These children are relying on each and every one of us.

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