Safety a main priority for parents as students return to school
BOX ELDER, S.D. – Starting August 22, classes are back in session for the Douglas School District and five other districts in the Black Hills region. Another six, including the Rapid City Area Schools, start back up in the next week and a half.
As parents drop off and pick up children, parking lots and surrounding areas can and will get busy. School volunteers, teachers and school resource officers will be in attendance to help guide drivers to keep students safe, and urge everyone to use caution and pay attention to signs and school officials to make the process run smoothly.
According to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, approximately 5,000 injuries and 205 fatalities in children occur in areas such as parking lots.
“What people should keep in mind is to watch their speed, make sure they are looking out for the crosswalks, kids in crosswalks, even kids just jumping in front of vehicles trying to cross the road. So make sure you are paying attention at all times,” Deputy Jayson Herra, a school resource officer for the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said. “And another thing to look out for is the street signs around here. Make sure you are abiding by the stop signs. Also the right turn or left turn only signs. That just helps with traffic and keeps a better flow to traffic.”
Deputy Herra also recommends that parents give themselves extra time in the morning and afternoon when arriving at their child’s school.
PCSO is also reminding parents to double-check their students’ backpacks, bags and cars for any prohibited items. Anything from weapons, alcohol or tobacco-related items found on a student’s person will be confiscated and law enforcement will determine what consequences are necessary. Items can include anything from guns, knives, alcoholic drinks and even vape pens.
In New York alone, almost 6,000 weapons were confiscated from schools during the 2021-2022 school year.
“It is a case-by-case situation and there can be school consequences along with legal consequences as well,” Pennington County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer Deputy Victor Gust explained. “But it is best if we can just avoid that altogether by double-checking everything and just not bringing any of those items with you to the school.”