As the leaves start to turn and temperatures cool, school communities are preparing for the return of students. While back-to-school shopping slows to a stop, here is some food for thought.

In the news this week are more reports of people being hit by cars driven by drivers who, in most cases, are speeding, inebriated or otherwise not paying attention.

Many of our local police chiefs issue back-to-school reminders to the residents in their towns to watch out for the younger folks as they excitedly head to and from bus stops and schools. It's easy for these young ones to forget about the dangers of the roads. For that reason, we, as the adults in their lives, must watch out for them. Taking care is easy compared to the lifetime of suffering that comes with one careless act.

Parents of young drivers should sit down and have another (we assume you've already had at least one) discussion about safe driving and the dangers of speed and distracted driving. A change in the road ahead can happen in the blink of an eye. Make sure they understand that, for their own sakes, for those who travel with them and those who share the road and sidewalks.

Also in the news, reports of suspicious people and suspicious cars, as close as Townsend. Children should be well schooled about what to do if approached by an unfamiliar car or a person. An abundance of caution should rule the day. And young children should not walk alone, even during daylight hours.


Parents and other guardians should assess the security of the schools their children attend. Is there only one access into the school and is that entrance secure? If not, ask why.

Too often we react to bad events. We don't need to. We can be proactive. Our police departments are well schooled in the approach. Make sure your school is, too.

Talk to your kids about bullies. Bullies seek reactions to their bad conduct. The bullied should report the conduct to the school and to parents, and keep reporting it as long as it continues.

Bullies are often the product of abuse. Bringing their conduct to light will enable them to get help, too.