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Police, school administrators urge safety first as kids head back to school this week

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Grand Rapids Public School bus

It’s a big week for parents, kids and school administrators. If last year is any indicator, roughly 1.5 million Michigan kids are heading back to school.

Larry Johnson heads security at Grand Rapids Public Schools. This week, his message is simple.

“Pay attention to this yellow bus. It’s important. Our kids will be getting dropped off. They’re not paying attention. They’re excited to get to school,” Johnson said.

In Grand Rapids, people will see more police officers hanging out in school zones, making sure drivers are aware of reduced speed limits near schools.

“I am going to not only ask you to slow down, everyone slow down, but I want the children to slow down as well. And just pay attention,” GRPS Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal said.

Ideally, she’d like parents with kids who walk to school to take the route with them the first couple of days or over the weekend, so they’re familiar with safe places to cross the road.

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