Springfield schools go back to school Tuesday; Police share safety info

Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 4:04 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The school year is starting up for Springfield Public Schools (SPS) on Tuesday.

The SPS Chief of School Police, Jim Farrell, said parents must know how to keep their kids safe if they walk to and from school alone.

“Using your voice and yelling when you need to. Being loud, if they need help, scream and fight. Don’t go quietly if someone is trying to harm you - don’t do it quietly,” Chief Farrell said.

Cris Swaters is the Public Affairs Officer for the Springfield Police Department (SPD). She said it’s important to keep track of your children, especially if they’re commuting to and from school alone.

“The buddy system is always a great thing to use, especially for the younger kiddos,” Swaters said. “See if you have a neighbor who also has a kiddo walking to school and goes in pairs.”

Some children have no other option but to walk to school, and Chief Farrell said it’s good for parents to prepare their kids to walk alone before the first day back.

Chief Farrell also said it’s smart for parents to put some type of alarming device on their child if they walk home alone, but self-defense products such as pepper spray are never allowed inside schools.

“I think anything that will help draw attention to what is potentially a bad situation is a good thing. Whether it’s the child yelling or blowing a whistle - I think a whistle is relatively a good idea,” said.

Around 100 SPS school buses will be out on the roads starting Tuesday, so Chief Farrell reminds drivers to be extra observant.

SPS is also still looking for more school crossing guards. You can apply here.

There’s a whole section of back-to-school articles on our website.

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