Back to School Safety Tips for Florida Students

August 18, 2022 Criminal Defense, News & Announcements

Summer has come to a close, meaning it’s time for students of all ages to head back to campus for a new school year! While it’s great to focus on all the new opportunities and knowledge that awaits, it’s also important to be reminded of the potential dangers that come with going to school these days.

We’ve got a compiled list of safety tips for students of all ages, and some helpful information on the common criminal charges university students may face once they head off to college.

Students and Transportation

Considering that school is back to being completely in-person after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to highlight essential safety tips for kids traveling by bus, bike, or walking. The Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers to remember the following rules when driving before and after the school day:

  • When you see the yellow lights of a school bus flashing, it indicates that the bus is getting ready to make a stop. Drivers should prepare to slow down and stop. Failure to stop for a school bus is punishable by a $200 fine and could lead to a suspended license for repeated offenses.
  • If you see red lights on a school bus, you need to remain a minimum of 20 feet behind it because students are about to start getting on or off. You have to remain stopped until the red lights stop flashing and the stop arm is withdrawn.
  • Even when there are no lights flashing on the school bus, it is important to still look out for children. Remain alert backing out of driveways and drive slowly through neighborhoods, school zones, and bus stops.

Gun Safety

Just last school year alone, there were 90 school shootings reported in Florida. That makes it the third highest state in the U.S. for school shootings this year. Gun safety is a continuous issue, not only in the state of Florida, but across the United States. This year, maybe more than ever, parents’ biggest fears include sending their children onto campus with the worry of yet another mass shooting.

President Biden signed a gun reform bill back in July, potentially the most significant gun reform bill in decades. In addition, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill in May for training on-campus officers. HB 1421 will now require police officers stationed at public schools to complete mental health crisis intervention training.

The bill states, “The training must improve the officer’s knowledge and skills as a first responder to incidents involving students with emotional disturbance or mental illness, including de-escalation skills to ensure student and officer safety.”

The bill will also grant the State Board of Education the authority over emergency drills. The emergency drills will cover natural disasters, bomb threats, and drills for “active assailant and hostage situations.”

Regardless of the measures taken by schools, the American Academy of Pediatrics has advised parents that the safest home for a child is one without any firearms. However, if you decide to keep them in your home, it is important to remember that it is not enough to just teach kids about gun safety and tell them not to play with guns.

Culpable negligence is a common criminal charge that parents may face if their children find and use firearms unsupervised. If the child uses the firearm and it results in the injury or death of another person, the parent or guardian could get charged with a third-degree felony. To find out about the penalties for culpable negligence or to read about an example case, read our blog post here.

For any guns kept in your home, keep them locked up and unloaded, preferably with the ammunition in a separate location. Ensure that your children or teens do not have any access to the locked compartments that store them.

Tips for College Students

After graduating from high school, upcoming college students have a new sense of freedom. Even with the fun and excitement of leaving home for university, freedom can come with a cost—getting arrested for a crime.

The following is a list of the most common criminal charges university students face:

As a new college student, getting accused of a crime is extremely serious. Firstly, you are now considered an adult in the legal world. That means getting charged as an adult. It also means a criminal charge can get you kicked out of college. The best way to protect yourself if you’ve been accused of a crime is to get in contact with a skilled defense attorney who works with university students.  

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

There’s no reason not to be excited about the new school year. However, it is just as important to be aware of all the potential dangers and criminal charges that can occur. Working with an experienced defense attorney is the number one way to build a strong defense for your case. If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, contact Pumphrey Law Firm. Don Pumphrey and his team have represented clients of all ages across the state, and we vow to stand by your side throughout the entire legal process. For a free consultation call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message today.

Written by Karissa Key

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