We work very hard at North Cross to create as safe a school environment as possible. We have a Risk Management Committee that works to identify areas of danger and means for reducing or eliminating that danger. We employ a color coded risk management system that identifies dangers as red (requiring immediate attention), yellow (important but can wait until later), or green (all is good).
So when I saw a mom with two occupied hands and three small children standing next to traffic, I immediately saw “red”. We have a tried and true carpool system that has worked well but this requires all of us to follow a few basic rules. Here are a few suggestions to help keep us all safer in the morning:
- Use the drop off-pick up service to avoid parking and walking your child through traffic. The only carpool accident I have experienced in my years of carpool duty was a student that broke loose from his mother’s hand while being walked to his car. Fortunately, and miraculously, he suffered no serious injuries other than tire marks across his shoe.
- Slow down. Drivers should expect that a child is lurking behind every car in the parking lot. All of us are in a hurry, but is it really worth the risk? And if you are a middle school parent or teacher driving around the lower school drop off line, know that lower school parents could pull out at any moment.
- Don’t park in front of the lower school offices to let your children out. There are teachers waiting to help you at the second entrance and they will ensure your child gets safely away from the car into the Ellis Hall. Use them. In addition, the time you take getting your children out of the car forces other cars to navigate around you or back up into the main drive.
- Don’t text and drive. Text away while the carpool line is not moving but once it starts, cell phones away. This year I have already seen one parent bump into the car in front of them because they were texting while the carpool line is moving.
- Place your child that is being dropped off on the carpool side of the car, the right side. Open doors and teachers on the left side of the car become possible targets for the aforementioned speeding and texting middle school parents in the pass by lane.