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Back to school safety tips

Submitted by Chief Dean Ackermann

One of the most critical elements in school safety is getting our community’s children to and from schoolsafely. The Glen Rock Police Department assigns School Crossing Guards at twenty key locations to assist children going to and from our schools. While the primary role of a school crossing guard is to guide children safely across the street, each guard plays another key function — a role model helping children develop the skills necessary to cross streets safely at all times. The position of crossing guard is one of the most dangerous of municipal jobs due to uncooperative motorists and accidents.

As staffing and service requirements permit Police Officers are assigned to periodic enforcement details at our schools and in school zones. However, the number of school buildings alone outnumber the Police Officers on patrol any time of the day. It is impossible to have an officer at every school and in every school zone each day. We therefore rely on the cooperation of parents, students and school staff in providing a safe environment.

The responsibility of parents to provide for safety in our school zones requires the cooperation of each parent to:

  1. Leave home early and expect delays, traffic is going to move slowly. The priority in any school zone is the safety of children. If you are running late you are going to be late!
  2. Drive slowly and avoid distractions, especially your cell phone.
  3. Learn and follow the school’s drop off and traffic safety plan. Each school’s traffic safety plan relies on YOUR cooperation. Contact the school’s principal with any questions or concerns.
  4. If you need to spend time at your child’s school beyond a simple drop off or pick up, you must find a legal parking space. Be prepared to walk, parking directly near your child’s school will seldom be possible.
  5. Always stop when directed to do so by a School Crossing Guard or Police Officer.
  6. Do not block crosswalks, intersections, fire zones, park illegally or block the neighboring resident’s driveways.
  7. Avoid making U-turns or backing up within the school zone markings.
  8. If you park on the side of the road, always have your child exit the car on the side away from traffic.
  9. Don’t park so that your child dashes across the street to get to the school.
  10. Always have your child use the designated crosswalk, this includes when you are walking with them. You set the best example for your child!
  11. Remind your child to follow the school crossing guard’s instructions.
  12. If you have a child who is recovering from an injury, has some form of restricted mobility or there is an emergency please contact the Glen Rock Police Department in advance for assistance. School Principals do not have the authority to grant special parking permission on Borough Streets, in Fire Zones or to permit parking in Handicapped Zones without a State issued permit. Once a parking summons has been issued it cannot be taken back.
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