The Bridge: Keeping your children safe as they return to the classroom

Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 4:47 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Many students are back to school this week and there are a few things parents can do to try to help keep their children safe this school year.

The Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center has encouraged parents all summer to monitor and check children’s devices and it says that should continue as school begins.

With a new school year comes new friends, meaning more exposure to new things such as, apps or games, so it is important to make sure you know what your children have access to.

“Social media is getting down into our lower grades, so of course, we always want to ask our parents to monitor that social media and watch what types of apps that our students are on, monitor phone usage, be mindful of students as they’re playing video games because they’re being on more and more with multiplayer games and they’re chatting more,” said Tracey Morman, director of counseling and college and career readiness, Amarillo Independent School District.

Keeping lines of communication is also important, ensuring your child has a safe place if something were to happen.

The Bridge encourages parents to carve out a time each day to talk to your kids about their day.

“What was their favorite part about school? What was their least favorite part about school? Was there ever a time in school where they felt scared, or they felt uncomfortable? Was there a time that they felt really happy or really excited? So that they’re covering all different aspects,” said Mckenzie Price, program director, The Bridge.

Parents should also help children identify safe adults in schools, whether it’s a teacher, counselor, a law enforcement officer, etc.

Also its important to be aware of any change in your child’s behavior.

“They go from being one way and now they’re a different way, they were talkative, now they aren’t talkative, or they have a complete change in a peer group and you’re not sure what’s going on and you’re trying to ask those questions, fine, ok, it was good, nothing, start prodding and asking those questions,” said Morman.

AISD also adds it has resources available to students who may need help transitioning into the start of school.

For those in 6th to 12th grade, AISD offers free telecounseling services.

NewsChannel10 will have exclusive monthly segments with The Bridge regarding children safety.

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