The Pasco Sheriff’s Office and Pasco School’s personnel actively plan and train together to respond to any incidents at schools that could impact the safety and welfare of the children or school staff. This could be potential incidents or circumstances such as:

  1. Threats investigations
  2.  Acts of violence,
  3. Severe weather,
  4. Other tragedies or natural disasters, AND
  5. Law enforcement or emergency services activities in nearby communities. These include criminal or other unusual incidents in a nearby community that are NOT occurring on school property but have the potential to impact the safety of the campus. For example, law enforcement may be actively investigating a bank robbery or a critical incident near a school campus. In these situations, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office will alert schools to this incident and work with staff, school resource officers or safety guards to take precautionary measures to ensure campus safety.

You can keep up to date with what is going on near your child’s school as it pertains to safety, nearby incidents, or activations of our school’s crisis plan by following the Pasco Sheriff’s School Safety Page on Face Book or by following us on Twitter @PSOSchoolSafety. You can also stay up to date by following the Pasco Sheriff’s Office and Pasco Schools on Facebook, or Following us on Twitter.

Social Media Resources

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pascosheriffschoolsafety
Twitter: @PSOSchoolSafety
Instagram: @instagram/pascosheriffschoolsafety

ATP Concepts

ATP concepts to help keep them safe should the need ever arise. We refer to these principles as The ABC’s of School Safety!

“ABC” STANDS FOR:

a. ALERT/AVOID – Escape

b. BARRICADE / LOCKDOWN

c. COUNTER (defend, distract, and look for another way to get to safety)

That is a great segway for us to talk a little about some of the different layers of the crisis plan to help allay concerns, and improve your understanding of what may be occurring on campus.

1. ALERT CAMPUS – An alert campus is initiated whenever officials become aware of suspicious persons or circumstances. “Alert Campus” is a heightened level of vigilance for staff and law enforcement and involves close communications about a perceived threat, or suspicious circumstances and for determining the most appropriate level of response warranted. “See Something, Say Something.” There is no disruption to students or instruction, and there is no immediate danger to the campus.

2. CONTROLLED CAMPUS – is implemented when there is a safety concern that requires a greater degree of control, but does NOT pose an IMMINENT DANGER. During a controlled campus, we strictly control access to the campus and student circulation. Disruption to instructional time is minimal. During a controlled campus parents and visitors are NOT allowed on campus.

3. ACTIVE THREAT PLAN (ATP) – The ATP is only activated when there is an incident occurring ON campus that creates an IMMEDIATE THREAT OF VIOLENCE or poses an IMMEDIATE DANGER to the safety and physical well being of students and staff. Students and staff have trained in classroom instruction and through age appropriate interactive drills to learn how to apply the ATP concepts to help keep them safe should the need ever arise. We refer to these principles as The ABC’s of School Safety!

ABC” STANDS FOR:

a. ALERT/AVOID – Escape

b. BARRICADE / LOCKDOWN

c. COUNTER (defend, distract, and look for another way to get to safety)

Here are some other VERY IMPORTANT things to keep in mind during a crisis situation that prompts the activation of the Active Threat Plan at a school. These points and are designed to minimize confusion, and ensure the safety of our students and staff.

1. Parents WILL NOT be allowed on campus for any reason and will be provided instruction as to a reunification location and time, if it becomes necessary to relocate children to another facility. This is to ensure the safety of the students and so a parent is not mistaken as a potential threat to the school.

2. This also means parents will not be allowed on campus to pick up children for scheduled doctor’s appointments, or other routine activities until the ATP is deactivated and the campus is deemed safe.

3. Allowing any interruption or unauthorized visitors during these occurrences will only cause confusion and delay the assessment of the potential threat and could jeopardize student safety.

4. Do not call the school! The affected school during an occurrence will receive more phone calls than personnel will be able to answer. Staff’s primary focus will be on keeping your children safe, not answering phones! Emergency responders will also be calling to acquire information about the alleged incident and additional phone calls to the school could block the phone lines.

5. Official information during these occurrences will be shared through official Pasco Sheriff’s Office and Pasco Schools safety page and social media sites. Sheriff and school officials will be working together to ensure this information has been confirmed as accurate. Other unofficial sources often confuse or add misinformation to situations that have not been confirmed. This includes your child calling you without having factual information or sharing unconfirmed rumors on social media.

Student safety and that of our teachers and staff are the utmost priority of The Pasco Sheriff’s Office and Pasco Schools. We work together to best ensure every child’s safety on campus, and we ask all parents and guardians to have patience and trust during these uncertain and often frightening situations.

Back to School Traffic Safety Tips

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Transportation and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) all offer the following health and safety tips and encourages all to be cautious as students return to class. The beginning of the school year is a time when children are at increased risk of transportation-related injuries from pedestrian, bicycle, school bus, and motor vehicle crashes.

TRAVELING TO AND FROM SCHOOL

Review the basic rules with your youngster(s):

Walking to School

In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider starting a “walking school bus,” in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.

Make sure your child’s walk to a school is a safe route with well-trained adult crossing guards at every intersection.

Be realistic about your child’s pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.

If your child is young or is walking to new school, walk with them the first week to make sure they know the route and can do it safely.

Bright colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.

Bike

  • Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
  • Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
  • Use appropriate hand signals.
  • Respect traffic lights and stop signs.
  • Wear bright color clothing to increase visibility.
  • Know the “rules of the road.”

School Bus

  • If your child’s school bus has lap/shoulder seat belts, make sure your child uses one at all times when in the bus. If your child’s school bus does not have lap/shoulder belts, encourage the school to buy or lease buses with lap/shoulder belts.
  • Wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
  • Do not move around on the bus.
  • Check to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street.
  • Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver.
  • Children should always board and exit the bus at designated locations that provide safe access to the bus or to the school building.

Tips for Motorists

  • All passengers should wear a seat belt and/or an age- and size-appropriate car safety seat or booster seat.
  • Do not text or talk on your cell phone while driving.
  • Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits.
  • Be alert for school zones that have a reduced speed limit at designated times of the day.
  • Watch for school buses. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate the school bus is stopping to load or unload children. State law requires you to stop.
  • Keep an eye out for children walking in the street, especially where there are no sidewalks.
  • Be alert for children playing and gathering near bus stops and for those who may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch for children walking or biking to school.
  • When driving in neighborhoods or school zones, watch for young people who may be in a hurry to get to or away from school and may not be thinking about getting there safely.

Tips for Parents

  • Be a good role model. Always buckle up in the car, always wear a helmet when biking, and always follow pedestrian safety rules. Don’t text or talk on your cell phone while driving.
  • Supervise young children as they are walking or biking to school or as they wait at the school bus stop.
  • Provide your children with bright clothing so motorists can easily see them.
  • If your child is under four years old and weighs less than 40 pounds, make sure the child is properly buckled up in a weight-appropriate child safety seat in the back seat. Children, ages 4 to 8, weighing over 40 pounds and measuring four feet nine inches or less should ride in a booster seat. In addition, safety experts advise that all children under the age of 12 should ride in the back seat.
  • Make sure that your teen driver understands and obeys all traffic laws. Discourage them from texting or talking on a cell phone while driving.

Tips for Students

  • Always buckle up when riding in a car. Be sure to remove your backpack before getting in the vehicle. Never buckle your safety belt with your backpack on.
  • Always ride in the back seat. It’s the safest place for young people.
  • Always wear a helmet and follow traffic safety rules when riding your bike.

Speeding in School Zones

Florida Statute 316.1895 section 10 states:

A person may not drive a vehicle on a roadway designated as a school zone at a speed greater than that posted in the school zone in accordance with this section. Violation of the speed limits established pursuant to this section must be cited as a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

Fines for speeding in a school zone are doubled and can range from $154.00 – $454.00 along with 3 points on your driver’s license.

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office will be conducting enforcement efforts at school zones throughout the school year.

Back to School Reminder!!! 

    Statute 316.172 requires all drivers operating a vehicle on any road in the state, upon approaching any school bus which displays a stop signal, to bring their vehicle to a full stop while the bus is stopped. The vehicle cannot pass the school bus until the signal has been withdrawn. The only exceptions to this requirement is when a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction of the stopped school bus is on a divided roadway with an unpaved space of at least five feet, a raised median or a physical barrier. In these instances, the driver isn’t required to stop for the stopped school bus.                       

A violation for passing on the left side is a moving violation with a $269.00 fine and 3 points of your driver’s license.  Passing on the right side where children load and unload is a mandatory court appearance