Public schools are now back in session after a quick summer has led to the 2018-2019 school year. Young children are going to kindergarten...

Public schools are now back in session after a quick summer has led to the 2018-2019 school year. Young children are going to kindergarten for the first time. Sixth-graders are experiencing middle school, while ninth-graders are adapting to high school.

What does all of this mean for you and me? If you have a child in a school, then you are invested. For everyone else must be aware.

When traveling roadways, we must expect increased school bus traffic. If there is any doubt about whether you should stop for a bus with its red lights flashing, stop! Give bus drivers the same courtesy that certain vessels are afforded at sea: a wide berth. In other words, do everything within your power to prevent a bus accident. Under no circumstance should you pass or go around a bus that is boarding or discharging children.

Concerning traffic around schools, patience is the word. Parents who drive their children to school need to get into a routine. Traffic through Chester has not lessened since last year. In fact, there seems to be more and more vehicles on the roads. Follow the posted speed limits in all school zones. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going so that if you are delayed in a school zone, you will still reach your destination on time.

To all teachers and students, remember, “if you see something, say something.” Anything that does not seem right should be reported to the proper authorities. There have been far too many school shootings in our nation’s history. School security is important, whatever that looks like. Hearing something that does not sound right and reporting it could be the difference between something happening and an incident being averted. If parents, students, teachers and administrators see breaches in security, each has a responsibility to share this with the right people.

For parents, do not take anything for granted. I do not care whether you have lived in a neighborhood for many years; stay vigilant where your children are concerned.

Evil lurks in places where complacency and a lack of parental supervision exists. People with evil intent can look and act like normal people. Keep eyes on your children as they go to the bus stop, at the bus stop and after they get off the bus/ Teach your children what to do and where to go if something does not seem right. These are difficult but necessary conversations.

The key to a safe and successful school year is situational awareness. May schools be the places of learning that they were designed to be.

I am thankful for every teacher I ever had, the ones that I remember and the ones that I do not.

School is important, whether your children attend public school, private school or are home-schooled. Our future leaders are in your care. May this be a great school year!