By Michelle Crean
A Killarney school principal is hoping a month long school campaign will help parents to slow down outside the school.
Rory D’Arcy, principal of St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, one of the county’s biggest primary schools, says with 720 pupils there’s no easy way of getting everyone out safely at home time.
“With 720 pupils there’s no easy way for children to all leave at the same time,” Rory told the Killarney Advertiser this week.
“The most important thing is to make it as safe as we can. And there’s a responsibility on us adults to make sure that it’s as safe as it can be. People need to slow down – we’re asking people to slow down and be extra careful.”
Gardai have been doing checkpoints outside the school and have had a meeting with the principal and Board of Management.
And the school has also arranged for the gardai, the Council and the lollipop lady to come and hold a talk in the school.
It’s been an issue at the school for some time and now the Green Schools committee are focusing on it as part of their National Big Travel Challenge for An Taisce as they work towards obtaining their 11thGreen Flag.
They’ve organised a Bus to School walk and so far over one hundred pupils meet every morning and walk to school from Countess Road, Woodlawn and the Church of the Resurrection.
The school has also had a number of assemblies highlighting road safety for all pupils, run a traffic awareness campaign, pedestrian safety talk, a slogan competition and a safe parking campaign.
Green Schools coordinator Máiréad Kerrisk said it’s doing wonders for the children.
“It’s making a huge difference to the children and it’s all they’re talking about,” she said.
“They’re learning a lot more and focusing better because of the fresh air in the morning. We’re running it until the end of February and long term hopefully if we get the support from the parents.”