Back to School Safety and Security Information
The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office partners with Seminole County Public Schools in several ways to assist children and families as they go back to school. Our School Safety Division was developed in conjunction with the Seminole County School Board to lead the safety and security initiatives for all schools throughout Seminole County Public Schools, regardless of jurisdiction. It also houses all of our school resource deputies. Our School Resource Deputies are assigned to elementary, middle and high schools throughout the county where they teach prevention and safety, liaison with parents and faculty, add a layer of safety to campuses, and handle any criminal incidents that happen on school grounds. .
Seven Florida laws designed to keep our students safe!
- In school zones, motorists must slow down to the marked speed limit, which can vary from 20 to 25 miles per hour. Zones are in effect on days when school is in session a half hour before the first bell and a half hour after the last bell. Speeding in a school zone can result in enhanced penalties.
- Motorists must yield to a stopped school bus! Failure to yield is a moving violation and subject to citation.
- It’s unlawful to wear a pair of headphones and earbuds while driving or to text, email or instant message while driving.
- A seatbelt is required for the driver of the vehicle, a front seat passenger of any age, and any person in the vehicle under 18 years old.
- Bicycle riders under 16 years of age are required to wear a bicycle helmet.
- Drivers must to yield to pedestrians crossing the road within crosswalks. Pedestrians have the right of way.
- When school buses stop to drop off or pick up children, motorists must stop until the bus driver has turned off the stop signal.
- On a two-lane road vehicles traveling in both directions must stop.
- On a multi-lane road that is paved all the way across, traffic in both directions must stop.
- On a divided highway with a raised (concrete or grass) median at least 5 feet wide, traffic behind the bus must stop. Vehicles traveling in the opposite direction are not required to stop.
School Zone Driving Safety Tips
- Be on the lookout for school zone signals and ALWAYS obey the speed limits.
- When entering a school zone, be sure to slow down and obey all traffic laws.
- Always stop for school busses that are loading or unloading children.
- Watch out for school crossing guards and obey their signals.
- Be aware of and watch out for children near schools, bus stops, sidewalks, in the streets, in school parking lots, etc.
- Never pass other vehicles while driving in a school zone.
- Never change lanes while driving in a school zone.
- Never make U-Turns while driving in a school zone.
- Never text while driving in a school zone.
- Avoid using a cell phone, unless it is completely hands-free, while driving in a school zone.
- Unless licensed to do so, never use handicap or emergency vehicle lanes or spaces to drop off or pick up children at school.
Riding Your Bike to School
- Make sure your child always wears a bicycle helmet! Failure to wear one could result in a traffic citation. Furthermore, in the event of an accident, helmets reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent.
- Obey the rules of the road; the rules are the same for all vehicles, including bicycles.
- Always stay on the right-hand side of the road and ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Be sure your child know and uses all of the appropriate hand signals.
- Choose the safest route between home and school and practice it with children until they can demonstrate traffic safety awareness.
- If possible, try to ride with someone else. There is safety in numbers.
Walking to School
- Leave early enough to arrive at school at least 10 minutes prior to the start of school.
- Use the same route every day and never use shortcuts.
- Go straight home after school. Do not go anywhere else without permission.
- Always use public sidewalks and streets when walking to school.
- Demonstrate traffic safety awareness and pick the safest route between your home and the school and practice walking it with your children.
- Try and walk to school with other students. There is strength in numbers.
- Teach your children to recognize and obey traffic signals, signs, and pavement markings.
- Only cross streets at designated crosswalks, street corners and traffic controlled intersections.
- Always look both ways before crossing the street and never enter streets from between obstacles like parked cars, shrubbery, signs, etc.
- Always walk and never run across intersections.
- Avoid talking to strangers. Teach your children to get distance between themselves and anyone who tries to approach or make contact with them.
- If a stranger does approach your child, make sure they know to immediately report the incident to you or a teacher.
- Teach your children to never get into a vehicle with anyone, even if they know them, without your permission.
Clothing and School Supplies
- To prevent injury, backpacks should have wide straps, padding in the back and shoulders, and should not weigh more than 10 to 15 percent of a child’s body weight.
- When placing items in a backpack, place the heavier items in first. The closer the heavier items are to a child’s back, the less strain it will cause.
- Children should use both backpack straps and all compartments for even distribution of weight.
- Remove drawstrings from jackets, sweatshirts, and hooded shirts to reduce the risk of strangulation injuries.
- Art supplies in the classroom should always be child safe and non-toxic. Be sure they have “CONFORMS TO ASTM D-4236” on their packaging.
- Make sure your child’s school is up-to-date on the latest recalled children’s products and toys.
School Bus Safety
- Make habit of arriving at the bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled arrival of the bus.
- Make sure your child stays out of the street and avoids excessive horseplay while waiting for the school bus.
- Be sure the bus comes to a complete stop before getting on or off.
- When riding the bus, make sure your child understands they must remain seated and keep their head and arms inside the bus at all times.
- Do not shout or distract the driver.
- Do not walk in the driver’s “blind spot” — this is the area from the front of the bus to about 10 feet in front of the bus.
Seminole County Public Schools
Seminole County Public Schools Student Code of Conduct
Community Traffic Safety Team
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Florida Department of Transportation
National Safety Council
Drive It Home - Helping to keep your teen drive safe
For more information, contact our contact our School Safety Division at 407-320-0025.