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As 2018-19 school year begins, let’s all take responsibility

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In many ways, the world starts over Monday morning as students head back to the classroom for the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.

As we look forward to the crisp days of autumn, to a return to normalcy in family schedules, and to football, Halloween and all that makes fall such a delightful season here, we also need to take a moment to think about the responsibilities we all share as a new school year begins.

SAFETY

After a 10-week break in which neither school buses nor student drivers were on the highways, both will be back in force Monday morning.

Simple rule: Slow down.

Slow down when a school bus is in front of you. You don’t know when its next stop will be.

Slow down when you’re close to a school or when you’re in a residential neighborhood where students will be walking to school.

Slow down and keep an eye out for student drivers who are inexperienced and likely to be both distracted and in a hurry to make it to school on time.

And finally, never, ever pass a stopped school bus, no matter what direction you are traveling.

SPORTS CONDUCT

We wrote about this last week in preparation for the opening of fall sports season, but it bears repeating.

All of us who attend sporting events need to uphold a high standard of good conduct and good sportsmanship.

No profanity. No personal remarks directed at officials or players. Cheer for your team, not against the opposing one.

As adults, we need to remember that we are always under scrutiny from those younger than we are. Let our example be one of respect for ourselves and for all those around us.

PARENTS

As parents and guardians, there are simple things we can do to make sure our children go to school each day ready to succeed.

Notice we said simple things, not easy things.

Make sure your child eats some breakfast if he is not going to be eating at school. Give that body and that brain some fuel to run on.

If he is eating at school, make sure he gets there early enough to finish his breakfast before the bell rings.

Make sure your child gets enough sleep. Set a lights-out time and enforce it.

Make sure your child completes her homework and reading assignments. And to do that, you may need to:

Limit her time on social media. Easier said than done, but important and effective.

STUDENTS

It’s hard to expect a whole lot of self-responsibility from a kindergartener, but not so from a student in high school.

Remember, this is your education and this is your life.

The choices you make now and the effort you put forth toward being successful in high school will affect your future life, your future income and your future happiness.

Treat your teachers with respect. Get involved in sports and clubs. Do your work.

THE REST OF US

So, if we’re not parents (or grandparents) of students, and we’re not students, other than remembering to drive safely, this editorial has nothing to do with us, right?

Wrong.

We all share a responsibility for the success of our school and the success of our students.

If you can afford it, help out with a monetary donation to be used toward needed school supplies.

If you have the time, volunteer to help out as an in-class helper or as a tutor.

And if you think about it, say a quick prayer Monday morning for all involved — students, teachers, administrators, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and all support staff.

And let’s all hope this year is a great one for everybody.

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