Officials stressing safety in school zones now that school is in session

OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE) - The Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office is stressing safety ahead of the new school year. They say it will be especially busy at elementary schools in the area for the first week because parents are going in to meet their kids' teachers.

Officials stressing safety in school zones for the first week of school. (KNOE)

Glenn Springfield with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office says it's also important for drivers to put the phones down in a school zone because talking on the phone, texting, or posting on social media is illegal. He says officers will be writing citations, too.

And Springfield says people will need to slow down in school zones now that the first day has started because buses and kids will be crossing streets.

He says parents need to make sure they stay with their kids at the bus stop, as well as wait at the stop for them in the afternoon.

"Sometimes it may be right by the driveway where the bus is coming, and you're thinking well I'm right there, but you're really not," says Springfield. "Stay out there with the youngsters, make sure there's an adult present just to be sure that they don't start playing or horseplaying, or step out in front of a car."

Springfield says this is also a good time of year to remind younger kids not to talk to strangers.

Besides Ouachita Parish, five other school districts head back to school Monday. That's East Carroll Parish schools, Tensas Parish schools, Morehouse Parish, Union Parish, and Madison Parish schools.