Safe and Sound

Posted on July 29, 2011


Huh.  Police vehicles at Lakeland Elementary School.  Yellow tape across the entrances to the parking lot.  A couple of Sheriff’s Deputies and an Elk Rapids Police Officer.  A flock of kids.  Aha!  It must be Safety Day at Summer School.

Look at the cool stuff they brought for Show and Tell.

There was a quick run-through of how to stay alive while riding a bike.  I paid close attention to this myself, as I find it worrying.  We covered wearing helmets, using hand signals–I’m pretty sure these are bicycle hand signals, although they might be dance moves–and following traffic rules.

There was discussion about the difference between knowing you have the right of way and knowing that silver SUV isn’t going to stop anyway.  Which would you rather be?  In the right and in the hospital or someone who yields the right of way to the idiot and lives to cuss about it?  All the kids had the right answer to that one.  Boy oh boy do I wish we could send Congress to summer school.  I digress.

This next picture is the best one I got of  (left to right) Deputy Tim Tilley (Antrim County Sheriff’s Marine and Snowmobile Officer), Officer Gary Bradley (Elk Rapids Police Department), and Deputy Bob Daunter (Antrim County Sheriff’s School Liaison).  I can’t remember exactly what he was saying when I snapped this, but it looks like Deputy Bob was telling a fish story, doesn’t it?

All three of them spend a lot of time talking to kids about how to stay safe.  Not just about bike riding and driving and knowing when to yield the right of way even when you shouldn’t have to, but things like not putting personal details on the internet, understanding that people you meet online may or may not be who they seem to be, talking to your parents and listening to them, too.  It sounds dreary the way I’m putting it but it wasn’t at all.  Hey, there was a chance to run the siren.

Then it was the little kids’ turn.  I’m pretty sure they had a good time.  I know I had a good time watching them.  That siren was really loud.

All of these particular children are students in Lakeland’s Migrant Education Program.  Naturally I asked if it would be OK to post their photos.  I talked to Director Frances Medina, and to Gean Franco, who is the Executive Director of Northwestern Michigan Migrant Projects, and they said yes, they had parental permission for photos.  They told me a lot more, too, because they’re quite properly proud of their program.  I would tell you more about what they do but you can read all about the academic part in this week’s Elk Rapids News, where a front page story on that very subject scooped me but good.  On the other hand, I got to tell you about Safety and Sirens, and I’m pretty sure I have an inside track on a ride in that cool yellow boat.