Keeping Kids Safe From Harm

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - "When a tragedy happens, it really causes everyone to pause and reflect on what you are doing. Is there something you can do better," asked Valley View Principal Pamela Clark.

On Wednesday morning, Valley View Schools were trying out some new pickup and dropoff rules of their own.

The new elementary school just opened two weeks ago, and is still adapting to their additional space.

"We could quickly see that we had a much longer sidewalk area, so we are going to dropping more students off at a time. However, we didn't have a buffer zone. We didn't really have an area where there was distance between where the cars dropped off and where the students walked," said Clark.

Since the tragedy at Fox Meadow on Tuesday, Valley View has now added paint stripes to their sidewalks to help keep kids further away from cars.

Now children are required to walk a minimum distance of 9 feet from the line of vehicles.

But much like Fox Meadow, they too have rules after chaperones have gone inside.

"Once that line is stopped and the duty people come in, then parents need to come in and sign their child in, so the children are not dropped off and unsupervised on the sidewalks or out front or on the side of the building," said Clark.

However, until that time chaperones like Tracy Needham say the relationship between them and parents is what keeps kids safe.

"If we are not here, you know, they ask where were you yesterday. We are just that every morning thing," said Needham.

And it's working together, that ultimately could divert a nightmare before it starts.

"Parents are in a hurry. They are trying to get to work. I know sometimes they may get a little disgruntled because the line is long and they are having to wait. They don't want the teacher to motion them. They want to drop their child off in a different area, but it is a team effort. We have to work together, and we need that positive relationship for the parents to realize that the duty teacher is there for the safety of their child," said Clark.

We're told that students and parents are still adapting to the new campus and new rules for pick up and drop off, but they are all taking safety much more seriously.

Meanwhile funeral arrangements for 6 year old Tavien Epley are still pending.

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