Safe Passage To And From School
What would you do if you are approached by someone on the way to school?

Following these tips can help keep you and your friends safe.

Use the Buddy System

  • Whether you're walking to and from school or waiting at a bus stop, having a buddy can help you stay safe.
  • Your buddy can be a friend from school, an older sibling or an adult approved by your parents.
  • Be a good buddy. Help your buddy to make good choices and stay away from people you don't know.
  • Never accept a ride home or go anywhere without permission from your parents.

Avoid Dangerous Situations

  • Don't accept candy, food or presents from people you don't know.
  • Don't stop to play around adults or older children you don't know.
  • Always keep a safe distance from traffic and people in cars.
  • Adults should not ask children they don't know for help such as finding a lost pet or directions.
  • If a person calls your over to his/her car, back away.

Run, Scream and Fight

  • If a person tries to get you in the car, turn and run away.
  • Always fight back to get away from a person who tries to take you.
  • Yell loud enough to attract attention and scare the person away. People will help if they know you are in trouble.
  • Run home as fast as you can. You can also go to a friend's house, back to school or to another safe place.

Show and Tell

  • If someone hurts you or tries to take you, tell a trusted adult what happened.
  • If the bus is there, get on board and tell the driver what happened. If you walk to school, tell your teacher, bus patrol or principal.
  • Show your parents, school administrator or police where the person tried to take you and any injuries that you received while getting away.

Safety Begins at Home

  • If you are at home alone, keep all the doors locked. Don't open the door unless it is for your parents or someone else who takes care of you.
  • Don't tell anyone that you are home alone.
  • Don't tell people online your full name, address, phone number or where you go to school.
  • Make sure you ask your parents before you leave the house or if your plans change.

Tips for Parents

Here are a few additional tips on how to keep your child safe:
  • If your child misses the school bus, tell him/her not to accept a ride from anyone not pre-approved by you as a backup.
  • If your family uses a code word, it should be difficult to guess and changed after each use.
  • Help your child plan the best route to take when walking to school. Never use shortcuts.
  • Help monitor the bus stop or arrange for other parents to monitor it.
  • Report any suspicious people or vehicles hanging around the bus stop.
  • If your child walks to school, consider starting a walking school bus for your neighborhood.
  • Require your child to let you know where they are at all times and call you when they arrive.
  • Tell your child to run away from anyone who tries to take him/her, even if the person has a weapon.
  • Help your child locate safe places they can go if they are in trouble.
  • Teach your child how to spot trouble and avoid dangerous situations.
  • Teach your child how to describe people and vehicles.
  • Ask your child to let you know about anything that seems suspicious.
  • Emphasize to your child that they should never hitchhike or get in a car with someone they don't know.

LEARN MORE
With your parents permission, you can learn more about ways to stay safe by visiting these websites:

www.fdle.state.fl.us
www.secureflorida.org
www.nationalsafeplace.org
www.netsmartz.org
www.take25.org