News 12 This Morning / Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012
EVANS, Ga. -- It's back to school this week for Columbia County and even if you don't have a student enrolled, you'll still need to be aware of increased traffic around schools.
Securing the school is the first order of business for school safety officers like, Angela Collins. Student safety is her top priority, as school starts this morning across Columbia county. Collins said, "Just want to remind them to bring their identification when they come use their front entrance."
With new faces in high school, and first-time students starting kindergarten, officer Collins double checks identification, making sure no strangers have access to your kids. Chief Lance Poss, the director of School Safety for Columbia County schools added, "Most school have security cameras where they will monitor doors."
In addition to the foot traffic, drivers need to expect extra traffic on the roads. "They have trouble sometimes with people getting in a hurry, they run a school stop sign," said Chief Poss.
So keep a watchful eye for children walking, biking, and crossing the street. "Traffic becomes a big problem on the first week of school," Poss said.
Collins tries to educate the parents too. Encouraging them to report any trouble they see. "Watch your child go into the building make sure they get into the building safely," said Collins.
The monitoring doesn't stop at the school entrance, with bullying being a concern, Collins is asking parents to keep an eye on their child's social media pages. "Biggest thing is for parents to know where their children are, I'm a parent of a teen too. It's not an easy job to know where they are at at all times," said Collins. "It can happen in a split second, good futures can be ruined in a moment with one bad decision."
With one hundred eighty days of the school year to go, Collins wants to make sure it's a safe year filled with good decisions.
Parents you may also want to consider dropping your child off at the bus stop for the first week. Cell phones are not allowed to be on during school hours. Some have raised concerns about that to the safety officers.. but they say if you need to get in touch with a students it's as simple as calling the main office..and the student can always do the same call their parents by coming to the main office.