My friend, a 16-year-old Henry Ford Academy School for Creative Studies student, doesn’t feel safe riding the city bus to school.
“I come into threatening situations often being harassed by men and boys me age,” she says. “They often do not leave me in peace when I tell them to. The bus driver can only do so much.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s important for students of all ages, even college students, to know how to keep safe before leaving home. Here are three helpful tips to keep you … or your children … safe on the way to school whether walking, biking or taking the bus.
Know where people are and familiarize yourself with your surroundings
The unknown is a scary place. It is vital that students stay away from strangers and keep themselves away from suspicious activity.
As for me, I try to stay as close to an authority figure as much as possible. For example, many times there are added security officers or police around. Get to know the places you are around often. Where are there security cameras? The security desk? What streetlights are working?
Expensive? Don’t flaunt it
Too often students like to flaunt their “expensive” items to their friends. They are just asking for trouble. Keep the expensive items home as much as possible. If you do take them with you don’t show them around. For example, my iPad stays home unless I need to use it in class. I keep my phone with a low profile. I listen through headphones and keep it in my pocket. Have an iPhone? Try swapping out your trademark white ear buds for black one. Thieves tend to look for the white ones.
Keep your head up
So many times I see students talking on the phone, laughing with friends and horse playing around on the streets. While it is fine to have fun, doing this in an unfamiliar location or unsafe place can distract students from their surroundings. You need to keep your head up, look to see who and what is around you. It is important students know their surroundings and get a feel for a new place before being distracted.
Urban areas across the country pose different challenges for students, but with a little care and caution your trip home can be a safe one.