It’s almost back-to-school time!

Published 2:21 pm Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Our View

Over the next few weeks, the kids go back to school.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were writing about spring high school and college graduates and congratulating them on their accomplishments and the hard work they had done to earn diplomas.
Summer is slipping away rapidly, though, and it’s time once again to note a new academic year begins next week for students in the Elizabethton School System and the first day for county students is August 15.
The simple message for all of us is be alert. We suggest everyone exercise caution as they adjust to school bus traffic, and the lower speed limits in school zones. The flashing lights that warn motorists to slow down for school zones have been dormant for a couple of months now, and we have become accustomed to driving through at the regular, posted speed limit. That’s going to change, and we shouldn’t be caught unaware of school zones and an increase in pedestrian traffic near schools. Law enforcement officers have been known to be understanding and sympathetic during the occasional traffic stop, but they aren’t known to show mercy to those who speed through school zones.
The price of inattention can be expensive. The fine for passing a stopped school bus can be significant. However, the greater tragedy could be a vehicle/pedestrian accident or a collision with a school bus.
Care also should be used even outside the limits of school zone signs. Not everyone rides a school bus, and drivers should be alert to the presence of young students making their way to and from school.
Vehicle traffic also will pick up near area high schools as young drivers pull into and out of parking lots.
Be careful, for everyone’s sake.
With that out of the way, we want to wish all the students and teachers — those excited to get back in the classroom and those mourning the end of their summer vacation — success over the coming months.
There’s much to be excited about. It’s a new season for band, football and other sports. It’s an opportunity to make new friends and to accept new challenges.
We also want to acknowledge the task teachers accept with each academic year as they try to prepare their students for the next step along the educational ladder or life in the working world.
Parents have a huge role to play, too, and their participation can determine just how successful the students and teachers will be between now and next spring.
If everyone does their part, we can keep our community’s children safe and on the proper learning curve.
But, for now enjoy these last days of summer vacation. Soon, it will be time to board the school bus for back to school and homework.

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