In North Alabama, the last days of summer vacation are upon us and the new school season begins this week.
Whether you can’t wait until your kids are back in school or dread the days ahead, there’s one thing you can count on: Going back to school is always a big transition.
One of the first lines of communication for students is the school resource officer.
In addition to maintaining order in our schools, many serve by just listening to the concerns and needs of students which can be a great resource when it comes to preparing young people for their return to school.
Many issues can be solved by simple communication.
“Just try to make sure that your kid is prepared for the school year by, you know, talking to them,” said Lawrence County Schools Safety Coordinator Stacy Rose. “Talking to them about things that may be of concern with your particular kid. Whether it be social media or whether it be issues at school or study habits or whatever the case may be.”
Sgt. Chris Long with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office said, “If they have any issues, I’d like for them to have a trusted adult whether it be a teacher if they feel comfortable with a teacher or administrator, even their school resource officer. They could come to them, whatever issues they may have.”
It is also important for students to be aware of the school campus. If something does not seem right, they should report it to a member of their school’s staff.
“We have a saying, see something, say something and that’s a nationwide campaign where we encourage students and faculty, no matter how small the issue might be,” said Rose. “If you see something or if you hear something, say something. Because it could be that little piece of information that helps us avoid a problem of some sort.”
As with all schools, there are the temptations that come with every school year. And one of the biggest challenges is the prevention of smoking or vaping.
“Vaping has been an issue and it’s an issue nationwide. It is so much easier to hide than the old smoking in the restroom,” said Rose. “Just like tobacco products, children in school are not old enough to have vapes or be in possession of vapes so it is illegal to buy vapes.”
The school officials also say that despite all of the positive roles that school staff can provide, nothing beats a regular presence of parents getting involved with activities at schools.