SCOH Safety and Wellness Newsletter

School City of Hobart's newsletter for safety and wellness!

Take a moment to listen to Corporal Jimenez's Safety Minute, SRO at Hobart Middle School!
Simply visit www.hobart.k12.in.us/safetyminute or watch the video below!
School City of Hobart Safety Minute for June 2022

Friendly Reminder About Stranger Danger

As you know it is June already! It is important to talk to your child about Stranger Danger. Some experts say that you should start talking to your children about Stranger’s when they are 3 or 4 years old. But it is always a good idea to remind them of some basic Stranger Danger rules.

Basic Stranger Danger rules include:

· Never go anywhere with a stranger.

· Never accept gifts or sweets from a stranger.

· Never get in a car with a stranger.

· Never go off on your own without telling your parents or a trusted adult.

· Tell your child it is okay to break the rules if they are in danger.

· Encourage your child to YELL, KICK, SCREAM, LIE or RUN AWAY, if they feel they are in danger.

· Give your child a code word or sign that only you and your child know. They can use it when they feel they are in danger but don’t want other people to know.

· Tell your child to stay with their trusted adult and not to go anywhere on their own.

Stranger Danger is not just about teaching children who or what to avoid, but also includes positive rules so that children know how to keep themselves safe. For example:

  • Knowing who they can trust if they need help - such as a uniformed police officer or a teacher.
  • Having the confidence to trust their instincts if they have a bad feeling about a place or person.
  • Being aware of their surroundings.
  • Learning to be assertive.
  • Knowing that they should tell a trusted adult if they have been approached by a stranger.



Stay close

To prevent your children from getting lost, communication is key - talk to your children about the possibility and what to do if the situation does arise:

  • Encourage your children to stay close to you in shops and to hold onto your hand or the trolley.
  • Don’t leave children unsupervised in play areas.
  • In case they get lost:
    • Teach them to recite their name, address and telephone number.
    • Make sure your children know the store layout and where to locate a member of staff - show them the uniform they wear; you should also point out customer service.
    • Teach them to go and tell a shop assistant with a badge, if they are lost.

If you lose your child

· Don’t panic - go and tell the closest member of staff or an enquiry desk.

· Listen carefully to any public address announcements.

· Alert the shopping center’s security staff.

· Enquire at the nearest Police Station.


Tell your children:

· To STOP - stand still and look around if they are lost, not to run around trying to find you. It is better that you go to them by retracing your steps.

· If they get lost in the street, DO NOT approach anyone in the street, but instead go to the nearest business, police station, fire department, hospital, or trusted house and ask for help.

· Older children may carry a mobile phone with them – they should call you immediately and stay put.



Courtesy of SRO Clemmons, Early Learning Center

Talk To Your Kids About Vaping

As a parent or guardian, you hold a huge amount of influence over your child’s actions. By talking to your child about vaping, you may help them choose to not vape or to try quitting. Before you begin this important conversation, look for opportunities to discuss vaping with your child in a calm and reasonable way.

Start with “what do you think about vaping” to get the conversation started. Let them answer the question and then go from there.

Vaping has become a huge issue today and is sometimes marketed as safer than smoking cigarettes. When in fact there is no evidence to support this.

Talk to your children about the peer pressure they might endure with vaping. Explain to them that some people don’t think about how much a quick decision to try vaping can affect their body negativity.

Here is a link I found which gives good pointers and advice.

Tips on Talking to Your Kids - Protect Kids (fightflavoredecigs.org)

Have a great summer!


Courtesy of SRO Webber, Joan Martin Elementary

A Word For Our Brickie Drivers

School’s out and for the next few weeks you plan on sleeping in and hanging out with your friends. Part of hanging out means getting to and from places and for many students this summer that will be done in a car, scooter or even a golf cart. Now you may have your driver’s license or driver's permit already. Or this might be the summer that you finally get your learner's permit or license. There are a few things that you need to know that will keep you, your passengers, other drivers and pedestrians safe while you drive. Driving is a huge responsibility and is a privilege . In the Indiana BMV drivers manual it even says that. Driving is a privilege and not a right. However, It is very easy to lose that privilege too.

Summer is here and it is time for you and many other teen and young adult drivers to hit the road. After all there are beaches to go to, summer markets to visit and road trips to take. With car accidents being a leading cause of death among teens and young adults I feel like now is time to pass on a few safety tips for safe summer driving.

Perhaps the biggest thing that I can stress to young drivers is to always practice defensive driving. Defensive driving not only will save you and your passengers lives but the lives of other drivers and pedestrians that share the roadway as well. Defensive driving is a skill that assumes that other drivers, pedestrians or anything else that shares the roadway with you is not going to do what they are supposed to. With that mindset you will then operate your vehicle more cautiously to avoid as many issues as possible. For example, you're driving behind another car and you can clearly see that the driver is on the phone. It is clear to you that the driver is distracted. So your defensive driving skills should kick in and you should reduce your speed to make sure that you are at least 2 car lengths behind them. This will give you enough time to avoid a collision if the driver makes a sudden stop. Defensive driving means that you should be observing your surroundings and not just focusing on the distracted driver in front of you. If you see the driver swerve in their lane or if they are driving in a residential area. You can contact the police and give them a description of the vehicle, the driver and what direction the car is going.

Defensive driving is a skill and like all skills you need to practice it every time you operate a motor vehicle. There are many situations that can happen as you operate a vehicle. So you should think of defensive driving as a variety of skills and that means that you will need to practice a variety of skills. You can even practice defensive driving while you are a passenger in the car. You can spot potential dangers and alert the driver. Safety is everyone's job when in a vehicle and not just the driver's. Just because you are a passenger in the car does not mean that you don't have to pay attention.

A few defensive driving tips for teens and young adult drivers:

  • Pay attention to all the road signs and road markings. Obey the instructions that they give.
  • Take into consideration your surroundings. If you are driving in a neighborhood with kids playing or near a park. You want to go slower than the recommended speed limit just in case a child or animal tries to run into the street.
  • Never tailgate another vehicle. Tailgating is following a vehicle closely and if a police officer observes the situation can write you a ticket. Tailgating reduces the time you have to react to the vehicle in front of you. The Indiana BMV driver's manual recommends that you give the vehicle ahead of you 2 seconds of distance or 2 car lengths. I always tell new drivers to use at least 3-4 car lengths. That way you will have plenty of time to take the appropriate action when needed.
  • The most important thing when it comes to defensive driving is driving to your own ability and not the expectation of others. Don't let another driver force you to go faster than you want to. Or make a turn sooner than you wanted to. If you are not comfortable driving in bad weather then you should wait until the weather clears.
  • Reduce the amount of in-car distractions. Distractions can be things like the car radio. Passengers that are in the car that are engaged in horseplay are also another type of distraction. Distractions divide your attention from safely operating a motor vehicle and can cause accidents.

Now that we have had a chance to speak about defensive driving and distractions I feel that I must talk about a few additional issues that affect the safe driving of teens and young adults. Perhaps you know about drinking alcohol, drugged driving and texting while driving can affect someone's ability to operate a vehicle. Nevertheless, I wouldn't be doing my job as a School Resource Officer, a police officer and a parent of young adult drivers if I didn't talk about these issues. Were you aware that car crashes are one of the leading causes of teen death in the United States. Alcohol is the most widely used substance among America’s teens and young adults. When you mix drinking alcohol and driving with teen and young adult drivers together these two things increase the risk of serious consequences. 17% of fatal alcohol related crashes involve teen drinking. It goes without saying that teens and young adult drivers should never drink and drive. Eight teens die in DUI crashes every day and I don't want to see any of our Brickies as part of that statistic. I'm also pretty sure that you don't want to see any of your friends as part of that statistic as well.

Drinking can affect a variety of your abilities to operate a motor vehicle.

Here are a few reasons why you shouldn't drink. It affects your consciousness. Your consciousness is your state of alertness. Alcohol is a depressant and can make you feel tired and sleepy. Being tired and sleepy decreases your alertness and increases your chances of being involved in a car crash. Alcohol impairs your judgment. If you have had a drink and decided to drive you have already answered the question of how alcohol impairs your judgment. Not to mention that driving a car requires a lot of decision making and timing. If you mistakenly judge the distance of how far another car is from you. It could possibly be the difference between life and death for you. Drinking alcohol will reduce your impulse control. Which is your ability to judge how risky and dangerous a situation can be. Alcohol can cause a loss of coordination and can even lead to blackouts.

Drugged driving is driving under the influence of drugs, prescription drugs and over the counter drugs. Yes, you can even get into trouble for driving under the influence of prescription drugs that have been given to you by a doctor. If those drugs affect your ability to drive a vehicle safely then you shouldn't drive after you take them. Below are a few facts about drugged driving.

  • After alcohol, marijuana is the most commonly used drug while driving.
  • Drugged driving is dangerous! According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the effects of marijuana can include altered senses and sense of time, slow reaction time, anxiety, hallucinations and more.
  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drivers that have smoked marijuana before getting behind the wheel are 65% more likely to get into a crash than those drivers who have not used marijuana.
  • More teens are driving after smoking marijuana than after heavy drinking.
  • A Liberty Mutual and SADD survey found that 33% of teenagers believe it is legal to drive under the influence of marijuana. Adding to that, 27% of their parents believed it was legal also.

Don't overlook the dangers of texting and driving. Texting is simple and so commonplace that it can easily be overlooked. It is this reason that it is so dangerous. If you recall my mentioning about distractions then texting is perhaps the biggest distraction of them all. Here are a few quick facts about texting and driving.

  • Texting while driving makes a crash 23 times more likely.
  • Every day, nine people will die from the results of distracted driving, which texting while driving is the main culprit.
  • 48 out of the 50 states in the U.S. have texting while driving bans. For some reason, Arizona and Montana have yet to make the list.
  • The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
  • Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
  • Distracted driving claimed 3,450 lives in 2016, according to the NHTSA.
  • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
  • Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than drinking and driving.

A few texting safety tips

  • If you must send or receive a text, pull over to a safe location and park your car first.
  • If you have passengers, choose one to be a “designated texter'' to handle all the texting for you while you drive.
  • If you can’t resist the temptation to look at your phone, keep it in your trunk.

Finally, I know it's summertime and that means fun time. Let's be safe while we have fun and make the best decisions we can. Remember to practice defensive driving every time you drive. Avoid drinking, drugs and texting while driving and you will always get to where you are going safely. Brickies remember these tips and I can't wait to see you on the roadways and back in school. If you have questions you can reach me by email at mwhite@hobart.k12.in.us. Have a great summer!


Courtesy of SRO White, Hobart High School

What To Do If You Find Yourself Involved In A Car Accident

If you are a current student driver or a soon to be student driver then this information is for you. I know that you are all excited to have the freedom and the ability to drive you, your family and friends to wherever it is that you all would like to go. However, that freedom of driving comes with a few serious responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is the duty to report any accident that you are involved in. Not only is it the responsible thing to do but it is also the law. So I just wanted to cover a few things that you should know and the actions that you should take if you are ever involved in a car accident.


Stay calm. First, stay calm and take a few deep breaths. You were just involved in a car accident and should take a moment to get your bearings.


Evaluate the situation. Second, check to see if you are okay. Did you have any passengers in the car? Check to see if they are okay. Is there any reason that you need to get out of the vehicle? If there is a reason then get out and get to a safe location. Some examples to get out of your vehicle would be if it was smoking or you smell gas.


Location. If the accident took place in the roadway and you are able to. Safely move your vehicle to the side of the road and out of the way of oncoming traffic. If you are unable to move your vehicle out of the roadway and you and your passengers are okay. You should exit your vehicle and wait for help on the side of the roadway.


Location. Did the accident happen in a parking lot? Is the driver in the other car or was it empty. If the accident took place in a parking lot and the other car is empty. Then you need to make efforts to locate the owner of the vehicle. If you can not locate the owner you still need to notify the police. If this accident happens at school you will need to notify a principal or school staff. If you can not find the owner of the other car you will need to leave a note on the vehicle with the following information. Driver’s license info, your vehicle info and license plate and your insurance info.


Do not and I mean Do Not. Do not leave the scene of an accident without notifying the proper authorities and/ or leaving behind your valid information. A car accident is a minor thing that happens all the time but if you leave the scene of an accident without taking the necessary steps it turns into a serious criminal offense. Don’t make a small thing into a worse situation. If the other driver in the accident is giving you a hard time. Remain in your car with the windows up and the doors locked until the police arrive.


Call for 911, first. I know that you are thinking that you should do this first but your first job in a car accident is your safety. Then you need to call 911 and tell them what happened, your name, location, vehicle description and if you need any medical attention. After you call 911, you can call any other person such as mom or dad. I understand that the emotions that you experience during a car accident can be extreme and confusing. Especially if it is your first accident but the first call you should make is to 911.


Be prepared. Be prepared to give the police officer your license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration. You will also need to provide information on any passengers that were riding with you. Most importantly, be prepared to give your statement as to the events that lead to the car accident.Your statement is everything that you observed before the accident took place. If you are hurt you should tell the officer and the 911 dispatcher this information as soon as possible so that you can be provided medical attention.


Something that you should know. It is your right to make a police report about your car accident. Even if the other driver does not want to or attempts to talk you out of it. If the other driver insists on exchanging information and not getting the police involved. You do not have to and can call the police to make a report.


What if. What if the other driver leaves before exchanging information or the police arrive. If this happens you should attempt to take a picture of the license plate of the other vehicle if it is safe to do so. If you have a passenger ask them to try and take a picture as well. If you can’t get a picture try to get a good look at the license plate, make, model, color of the car and damaged area. As well as what direction the vehicle went.


You can. You can ask the officer questions in regards to your accident. He may or may not answer them. A good officer will do their best to help you through the process and answer as many of your questions as possible.


While you wait for the police officer to release you. You can take pictures of the damage to both your vehicle and the other vehicle to keep for your records. Just make sure you ask the officer first.

The officer will provide you with an offense report number and instructions for the next steps in the accident process. If you don’t get a report number you need to ask for it. If your vehicle is unable to be driven the officer will tow it. It is up to the officer to use the police tow truck or allow you to get your own tow truck. Every situation is different and just because you can get your own tow truck does not mean that it will be allowed. However, if your car is towed you will need to get any important items of value and take them with you. Everything else you will be able to get at a later time.


Something that you should know. A police report is an official exchange of the required information between drivers. The report will have both of the vehicle driver’s information. It will have vehicle information for all the vehicles involved. It will also have the insurance information for both vehicles clearly listed. The report will also contain the statement of events for both drivers that led to the collision and the police officer’s name. It is true that you do not need to involve the police in minor accidents. Be cautious though, if you exchange information with the other driver you may lose the option to make a police report later. In my experience this tends to be an issue when the information that has been exchanged has turned out to be false or incorrect.


Relax. Finally, remember that your car can be replaced. I know that it is important to you but what is really important is that everyone is okay. Your car and the other driver’s car can be fixed or replaced. Your car insurance will take care of this. That is why you have it. Don’t blame yourself, don’t blame the other driver and use it as a chance to learn from the situation.


Courtesy of SRO White, Hobart High School

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Free Bike Helmets for K-2nd grade!

As spring and summer arrive, all individuals need to wear helmets while riding bikes. Helmets for K, 1, 2 students are available for free!!! Visit bikesafeindiana.com or call the INDOT customer service line at 1-855-463-6848.

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Reconnecting With The Outdoors!

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Mental Wellness: Taking Care Of Our Mental Health

NEW: Mental Health Resources For Educators, Students, And Families

In light of recent tragic events, the Office of Student, School, and Family Engagement has developed a resource document containing helpful information from nationally recognized organizations to help families and educators navigate conversations with students surrounding these events. Contact the Office of Student, School, and Family Engagement with any questions.

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June's Wellness Calendar

Click this button to access June's Wellness Calendar! This month is focused on exercising your mind and body. Get outside - Spring is in the air! Focus on positivity and being active. Set a small goal for yourself, conquer it, and set another one!

Parent and Caregiving Wellness

Social Emotional Learning

Gratitude – Making a new habit of noticing the good in ourselves, each other, & our community.
Please take a few moments each day to reflect on what you are personally grateful for with your family.

K-5 students will be encouraged to view a normal day and how my time is spent on a device. Let’s encourage a healthy diet of digital, face to face time and time outdoors in nature.
Feeling stressed? Here are Tips for how parents can help teens de-stress.

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Published By:

Dr. Buffington, Sarah Ramos, and the School City of Hobart SROs


The School City of Hobart does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status, genetic information, or disability, including limited English proficiency.