Successful SRTS programs rely on and reflect the input and commitment of multiple partners. The complex questions and concerns of these various stakeholders – whether real or perceived – must be acknowledged and addressed to sustain interest, participation, and ultimately trust in SRTS programs.
Don’t let school or school district liability fears deter your program! Click on the links below for tools to help tackle liability head-on.
- California-specific Liability information, National Policy and Legal Analysis Network (NPLAN)
- National Center for Safe Routes to Schools Liability Tip Sheet
- Volunteers Liability Fact Sheet, NPLAN
Many parents and schools can hesitate to encourage walking or bicycling to school for fear of stranger abduction, street crime, gangs, dogs, speeding traffic, and bullying. SRTS programs address this by encouraging walking school buses or bicycle trains where adults (often parents) accompany a group of children to school. The resources below can help parents and schools address this topic.
- Personal Safety, SRTS National Partnership
- Personal Security, National Center for SRTS
- Kidwise Parent Tips
- Law Enforcement Officer Tips: Addressing Personal Security for Students, National Center for SRTS
SRTS programs can help address bullying on the walk or bicycle to school through a variety of means, such as walking school buses and bicycling trains or by having parents, neighborhood residents, school staff or others stationed on the route to school or on “Parent Paths” or at designated street corners as “Corner Captains.” The resources below provide additional information on bullying prevention.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Youth Violence Prevention
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Stopbullying.gov
- National Education Association, Bully Free: It Starts With Me
A “Corner Captain” is a parent, teacher, or other volunteer that is stationed at designated locations in neighborhoods and along established routes to school. They can improve personal security by serving as “eyes on the street” and otherwise supervise during the morning and afternoon. Consider outfitting Corner Captains in specific pieces of clothing that designates their status to both children and other adults. “Safe Houses” can also be identified.
Similar to “Corner Captains,” having parents located at designated locations along established routes to school can help provide additional “eyes on the street” and improve safety for children walking or bicycling to school.
In areas of high crime, traveling to and from school can be dangerous. Safe Passages is a program designed to increase children’s safety as they travel to and from school. Check out two programs below for ideas.