SAFETY REMAINS PRIORITY FOR START OF 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR, DESPITE CHALLENGES OF CORONAVIRUS

This article was published on: 08/31/20 12:49 PM by Mike Minarsky

***THE FOLLOWING IS A MESSAGE FROM CONNECTICUT STATE POLICE***

 

The start to the 2020-21 school year looks completely different in every school district in Connecticut, but one lesson remains constant: be safe!

Your Connecticut State Troopers remind all residents – those with or without school-aged children – that safety begins at home and continues on the streets & highways of our state, as well as in our schools.

Whether an in-person school, an online school or a hybrid, residents are asked to take precautions to ensure a safe beginning to this academic year.

For students taking the bus or for parents driving their children to and from school, please check with your school district to ensure that you are following administrators’ plans for social distancing on the bus and for drop off & pick up procedures in the parking lots.

Anyone driving – whether parents of schoolchildren or not – is required to follow state traffic laws. On weekdays, during the hours of 6-9 a.m. and 2-5 p.m., many children will be traveling to or from school, so this is when drivers need to be extra vigilant in watching for students in crosswalks and on bicycles on the roads.

Parents are asked to speak with their children regarding bus safety, including how to be

visible to drivers and when to exit or enter a bus,” said Colonel Stavros Mellekas, commanding officer of the Connecticut State Police.

He added, “The rule about looking both ways before crossing the street still applies. The law requiring motorists to stop when a red stop sign is deployed from the bus will be enforced. Please have patience and make safety a top priority for all.”

The fine for drivers who ignore that red stop sign is steep: $470.

Motorists are reminded to slow down in school zones. In addition, drivers should always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard when they are holding a stop sign.

This year, the coronavirus requires all parents and students to be extra vigilant about online safety, since many districts are utilizing all online or hybrid teaching. Being on a computer all day may be distracting for some students, so Troopers suggest these tips:

  • Set ground rules for acceptable websites/games/social media/etc.
  • Remind children not to reveal personal information such name, address, school.
  • Children should not install or download programs without parental permission.
  • Children are not to post their photos without parents’ knowledge.
  • Students should not communicate with strangers on the Internet.

In addition, parents should ask their children open-ended questions about social media apps they have downloaded on their phones and with whom they communicate. Parents may considering downloading these apps themselves to become familiar with the capabilities, including private messaging.

Enabling parental control on children’s devices is essential, as is checking devices for content, messages and activity.

CT State Troopers wish everyone a safe & healthy school year!

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