On Friday, Red Oak ISD campuses took part in their first safety day designed to teach students the importance of safety.

Campus coordinators and principals set a schedule in their schools to teach students proper ways to respond to emergencies and how to be safe inside and out.

ROISD Police Chief Scott Lindsey said ensuring students’ safety has always been a No. 1 priority for the district.

“We do extensive work in school safety and it is and has been for 10 years the No. 1 priority of our department,” Lindsey said. “We have created a full district emergency operations plan with the help of our district safe school committee. This committee is made up of representation from all campuses as well as school board representatives, student representatives, along with local emergency services, Chief (Eric) Thompson and Chief (Tim) Birdwell from Red Oak Fire Department, as well as a representative from Red Oak Police Department.”

During the day, Wooden Elementary School created several safety activities for its students, which Principal Robert Sellman said is a good way for parents to feel at ease knowing that their children are safe at school.

“What we are trying to do is to let the community know that their children are safe at school,” Sellman said, noting the activities included disaster drills, bus safety, playground safety stranger danger, bicycle safety and others.

“Safety has always been big at Wooden and this day is just a great way to enhance it,” he said. “We take the safety of our students very seriously.”

Students at Wooden learned valuable pointers regarding safety, with students agreeing that having a Safety Day is a good idea — whether it pertained to stranger danger or other safety topics.

“The first thing I learned about strangers is not to ever give out personal information to them,” said third-grader Samantha Wooley, with fourth-grader Kaytlin Burks adding, “I learned that if a stranger comes to you, you should not go with them unless your parents know about it and say that it’s OK.”

Red Oak Elementary School also participated in Safety Day activities with counselor Cindy Dooly saying the activities were good strategic ideas.

“We’ve done safety drills, tornado drills, assemblies on bullying and how to respond to those situations if necessary,” Dooly said. “We also did lock-down drills so this day has really encouraged our students and staff to be prepared and to practice for crises.”

Second-grade student Anna Mae McAdams recalled what she learned from the day’s list of activities.

“This day was designed to keep us safe and to show us ways of how to be and remain safe,” McAdams said, saying she learned about code red, tornado drills and bullying.

“All the activities were pretty fun and I believe it was a good thing to have a Safety Day.”

“I learned new ways to be safe, like with tornado drills,” fourth-grader Logan Wooley said. “I think today was a good day because we (students) were able to learn about important drills because disasters can happen without warning.”

Red Oak Junior High designated three class periods to conduct Safety Day activities.

Some of the activities included fire, tornado and lockdown drills, Internet safety, late night safety, flash flood safety, severe thunderstorm and lightning safety, and general water safety.

“Safety Day was a good idea, especially at the beginning of the school year, to make sure that everyone is on the same page,” said Ken Lynch, ROJH assistant principal and coordinator of the crisis training. “This helps us to answer questions that didn’t come up in the initial training.”

The Safe School Committee’s mission statement is: “We the staff and student body of Red Oak along with the parents and community are continually striving to identify problems, so that we can maintain a safe environment, which establishes a feeling of partnership and an atmosphere of security in our school community so that we can help realize our individual student’s dreams.”

Lindsey said the committee is proud of the effort made in school safety and that members are striving daily to make the campuses the safest possible for all students and staff.

E-mail Chicarra at chicarra.dense@waxahachiedailylight.com