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Spring Intersession Day Focuses on Keeping Kids Safe
Spring Intersession Safety Day Focuses on Keeping Kids Safe
Posted on 03/27/2024
Students listen to a fire safety presentation by Bristol Tennessee Firefighters

During BTCS Spring Intersession, BTCS hosted Safety Day at Fairmount Elementary School for approximately 35 students from kindergarten through fifth grade. Students stepped outside the conventional classroom setting and delved into practical safety lessons, presented by the Bristol Tennessee Police Department, Bristol Fire Rescue, and Sullivan County Anti-Drug Coalition.

Officer Chesney Roark, the community outreach officer for the police department, organized the day of fun and educational activities for students. “When the school system told me they were going to have kids this week and asked if I could bring K-9 Sonny one day and I knew all our SROs were out this week too, I told them why don’t we just make it a day. We could cover everything about safety and just have a fun day to spend with the kids. From there, it just morphed into this,” Officer Roark said. The day kicked off with a game of dodgeball, allowing students to interact with police officers in a relaxed and fun environment, breaking down barriers from the get-go.

The activities were diverse, ranging from school bus safety drills to presentations on internet safety and drug awareness. The students were given a close-up look at police drones, the SWAT van, the bomb truck, and a bomb robot, providing them with a hands-on learning experience about the tools and technologies used by law enforcement.

Two students, Jaxon Cresong, a fifth grader, and Baine McInnis, a third grader, shared their insights from the day. Jaxon was particularly impressed by the bus safety lessons, remarking on the importance of being cautious to avoid getting hurt. He was also fascinated by the police dog, Sonny, and his extensive training. Baine found the demonstration involving the SWAT team's heavy gear intriguing, highlighting the importance of protection and safety for the officers. His favorite part of the day was the drone demonstration, understanding their role in search operations for missing persons or fugitives.

The Safety Day at Fairmount was not just a day for the students, it was also a way parents can engage and reinforce the safety lessons learned. Parents are encouraged to take an active role in discussing the day's lessons with their children. For example, parents should always inquire about their children’s online interactions. Officer Roark stressed, “Be sure that you ask them … who are you talking to? Because if your kid is talking to somebody and you don't know them and they can't tell you how they met them, that's a red flag.” Additionally, discussing the importance of having a fire escape plan, the proper actions to take if they encounter a gun, and the significance of staying a safe distance from the school bus can reinforce these essential safety measures.

As the day wrapped up with a game of kickball, it was clear that the lessons learned went beyond safety; they were about building trust, understanding, and camaraderie between the students and those who work every day to keep them safe.


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