Be cautious around schools

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

This morning's accident -- near West Sixth and J Street -- is a reminder to us all of the importance of extreme caution when students are walking to and from school.

There are so many things that can happen: blinding sun, children darting into the street and a cell phone call are just a few of the possibilities. But, not matter how unexpected, we must be ready to react.

Please, please be careful, for your sake and that of our young people. Safety is always an issue, but especially this year with the opening of the new McCook Elementary School. In the opening days of school, parents, students and people who live near the school are having to adjust to increased enrollment and construction activity.

As expected, the first day of school was hectic, especially for some on O Street who were attempting to go the other direction to get to work. But, as traffic patterns and daily schedules smooth out, the situation should improve. One thing that will help is a new plan for angle parking on the east side of the expanded school. Another thing that will improve the situation is the removal of the modulars that are still be using for classrooms.

Once construction is complete -- hopefully before Thanksgiving -- all of the McCook public school students from kindergarten through the third grade will be housed inside the new McCook Elementary School, thus allowing the removal of the modular classrooms.

The opening of school brings a fresh sense of vitality and excitement to the community. The energy and enthusiasm of youth -- combined with their many school activities -- captures the attention of parents and townspeople.

But, in our excitement, we cannot lose sight of the need to always be on the lookout for the unexpected. School days are active days. We must remain alert to avoid accidents and injuries.

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