NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - In less than a week a lot of North Texas students, teachers and staff will be heading back to school. Even if you don't fall into one of the aforementioned groups, the influx of people and traffic will probably have some impact on your life.
Patrol officers say drivers and pedestrians should be on the lookout when near a school or in a school zone.
In Tarrant County, the intersection near Arlington High School, where Cooper meets Park Row, is going to be very chaotic before and after school. People in the area will also see a lot of students out at lunchtime.
Resource Officer Gustavo Moreno says, "They'll come down the sidewalk and then they'll all walk together."
According to Moreno, high schoolers have a "herd mentality" and often cross streets in groups -- to the frustration of drivers.
Moreno says that in Arlington there are accidents involving drivers and students every year. Officers recommend that parents walk with their children to school, or take turns with other parents – like a carpool.
But drivers aren't the only ones who need to be cautious. Officials say students who walk to school need to also be taught how to deal with potential predators.
Moreno says incident involving 'stranger danger' are rare, but it can happen. "There's more probability that something would happen to you from a family member then there is from an actual stranger... trying to abduct you."
Officers recommend that parents tell their children that if they're ever approached to say 'no' and run away. Kids should yell and scream and try to get the attention of any nearby adult. As soon as possible, the incident should also be reported to police.
If parents can't be with their children as they go to and from school they should make sure there is someone the child can go to if there's trouble. "Find somebody that you as a parent trust and introduce them to your child. Speak to them and let them know that it's okay to speak to this particular person if you ever have a problem."
Officer Moreno says open communication is key. Kids may be dealing with bullying or even issues with drugs. Parents should talk to them about what's happening at school.
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