Maybe the recent weather was trying to tell us something: summer is over. Sure, it may get hot again in the next few weeks, but the real way we measure summer — vacations, time off, children doing anything besides going to school — is officially over tomorrow.
Yes, Faulkner County schools are back in session on Monday with the area colleges starting soon after. The effect that the school systems have in the county is significant. While Conway is a growing community with all types of people coming to live, a large percentage of residents have a child or children who attend classes at Conway, Greenbrier, Vilonia, Mayflower, St. Joseph or Conway Christian. So this week (and for some, last week) is extremely important.
To parents of new students, remember this: the world has changed. These school districts require more security and more diligence when it comes to taking care of your children. Protocol must be met when sending your kid to school, or more importantly, picking them up.
In order to keep them safe, remember that even if you are best friends with a teacher, a principal or a superintendent, you will need to follow that protocol when visiting, dropping off or (especially) picking up your students from school. It may seem like a lot of hoops to jump through, but we have moved far away from Walnut Grove, Minn. and Little House on the Prairie.
Too many stories from around the nation deal with children taken from under our noses, right during school time. We may want to believe that it couldn’t happen here, but it can, and we must be appreciative of those in our school systems doing everything they can to make it a safer place.
Recently, the talk has turned to how the school in general can keep students and teachers safe. Should those teachers be armed? Should administrators? There is no easy answer, but we do know that Conway took a step in the right direction, adding more school resource officers to its campuses. All school districts are wrestling with what is right for their area, and the best way to be up to date on what your particular school district is doing is to be a part of the discussion. Go to school board meetings. Be a part of Parent-Teacher organizations. In short, be involved in your students’ lives.
That action alone will not only help with their safety while in school, it will help with their well-being, their attitude and their success in every other walk of life.