Published : Wednesday, August 14, 2013 | 7:51 PM
As our children return to school this week, it does not have to mean back-to-worrying. Though safety inside school is ultimately the responsibility of the principal and school staff, parents can take a few basic steps to ensure a safe school experience.
Basic rules to review with your child/children
• Be sure that your child knows his/her phone number, address, your cell or work number, the number of another trusted adult and he/she knows how to call 911 for emergencies.
• Teach your children NOT TO ACCEPT RIDES from anyone unless you have said it’s okay.
• Teach them if anyone follows them in a vehicle they should turn and walk/run in the other direction to find a trusted person to help them. We encourage the “Buddy System” for kids walking to school and parents should set specific timelines for arriving home.
• Teach your child to never to talk to strangers or accept gifts from strangers. Remember, a stranger is anyone you or your children don’t know well or don’t trust.
• Talk with your child about safety. Be specific. Talk about instinct and paying attention to funny feelings of fear. Explain what to do if your child doesn’t feel safe (find a teacher, call 911, etc.). Make sure he or she knows how to contact you or a trusted neighbor who is likely to be at home.
• Get involved. Talk with the principal about what you can do to increase school safety, such as organizing parents to form a neighborhood watch before and after school. Sometimes parent groups are highly successful in making improvements in traffic safety during drop off and pick up times.
• “SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING” – Parents and children alike should be aware of their surroundings. If you or your child becomes aware of something or someone suspicious near the school, report it to law enforcement. We want to know!
To report suspicious activity or a non-emergency, please call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241. For Emergencies Only Call: 9-1-1