Editorial: School safety

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Editorial board members:

• Al Cashion

— Community representative

• Patt McCaffrey

— Community representative

• Bryce Jacobson

— Newspaper representative

• Jerry Martin

— Newspaper representative

The opening of a new school year signals many changes for a community such as this one.

The weather getting cooler, more wildlife appearing around town and the start of the fall sports season at MCHS are all welcome changes from the monotony that usually sets in by the end of summer.

Another change that comes with the season is the presence of schoolchildren walking to and from school each weekday. While the presence of these children is far from a bad thing — their youthful exuberance is enough to brighten even the drabbest of neighborhoods — it also increases the danger of a tragedy befalling one of them as they make their commute.

Parents, especially those of small children, should teach them basic street and crosswalk procedure and safety, which may serve as a child’s best safeguard against overly aggressive drivers.

However the editorial board contends everyone shares the responsibility of making sure children are safe when walking to or from school. This applies especially to drivers, who, like some students, sometimes grow forgetful during the summer months.

Adults: slow down in school zones, watch for children in the street and stop for students getting off school buses. If you approach a stopped school bus and aren’t sure what to do, err on the side of caution and stop.

Everyone has places to go and things to do, but being mindful of these precautions can prevent dangerous or deadly accidents, and isn’t that worth a few minutes of your time?

The city plans on doing its part to help keep area school children safe through its involvement with the “Safe Routes to School” program, which is run by the federal government and administered in Colorado through the state department of transportation.

Through the program, the city will receive more than $188,000 in assistance, which it will use to install sidewalks at various locations around Sandrock Elementary and Craig Middle School.

The editorial board applauds their efforts. The lack of sidewalks has long been a problem for those trying to move around town on foot, and using this program to help correct that problem is a great example of government working to serve the people.

For the rest of us, the job is a lot easier: Go slow and keep your eyes on the road.

It sounds simple, but it might make all the difference in the world.

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