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Safe start to the new school year
Deputies, police officers on extra patrol this week
W Broadhead Brown
Statesboro police Chief Mike Broadhead and Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown

Deputies and police officers will be on extra patrol during the first week of school for Bulloch County Schools as parents and students get used to new traffic patterns, bus routes, schedules and drop-off and pick-up locations.

Bulloch County sheriff's deputies will be patrolling all schools, and Statesboro police will monitor Statesboro High School and other campuses inside the city limits. Parents and driving students are asked to "be patient, slow down and leave early so they don't have to rush," said Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown.

Statesboro police Chief Mike Broadhead added: "Be hyper-alert as kids learn new walking patterns" and bus boarding routines.

Brown reminds drivers that there are reduced speed zones near the schools during the intake and release of students each day.

"Each school zone has posted signs and/or flashing yellow lights warning drivers that a school zone is ahead," he said. "Please familiarize yourself with the times and speed limits and be warned that speed limits will be enforced."

"We typically have greater patrol near drop-off and pick-up areas during this first week," Broadhead said.

Leaving earlier than normal and having patience as others adjust will help things go smoother, Brown said.

"Possibly taking an alternate route to your destination, as you know there will be a lot of traffic," could save time in the long run, he said.

School resource officers will be serving all middle and high schools, too, and if any parent or student has a problem, they can seek out their school's officer.

Statesboro High School is the only upper-grade school within the city limits of Statesboro, while Portal Middle High School is inside the Portal city limits. Portal is served by Portal police and sometimes patrol deputies with the Sheriff's Office.

A third officer joins the ranks of school resource officers this year, and "the Sheriff's Office will have a deputy at William James Middle School, Langston Chapel Elementary and Middle schools, and Southeast Bulloch Middle and High schools," Brown said.

Sheriff's Office road patrol deputies will be responding to all other schools "if the need for assistance arises, as well as making routine safety checks of those schools," he said. "Our prayer is for a safe and educational school year."

Broadhead agreed: "We want everyone to have a safe start to the school year."

School bus safety

If your child rides a bus, Bulloch County Schools officials offer some safety advice. A full account of safety tips, as well as school attendance and transportation zones, are available online at

Students should be at the bus stop early and wait 15 feet from the edge of the roadway, and they should not cross until the bus driver gives the OK, at which point they should board the bus and go directly to their seats. No toys, radios, CD players, animals, ball bats, sharp objects or other potentially dangerous items are allowed on the bus.

Students are expected to respect the bus driver as well as other students. No eating, drinking, gum chewing, loud talking or especially vulgar language is allowed. Fighting will not be tolerated, and students leaving the bus should go straight to their homes.

Students should walk, not run; never chase a bus and stay away from the bus tires.

Parents and students are asked to report any suspicious behavior or persons to the school or to either the Police Department or the Sheriff's Office.


Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.



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