Galion students encouraged to buckle up

March 3, 2021

Galion School Resource Officer Ralph Burwell wanted to do something to help raise awareness about buckling up among students in the Galion City Schools. The Galion FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) chapter developed a safety plan with the same goal in mind. The students and Officer Burwell partnered up and “Buckle Up Bracelets” were born.

The bracelets, which say “Buckle Up”, were distributed to Galion High School students in late February and early March by FCCLA members, GHS teachers and administrators, and Officer Burwell.

“It’s important that we raise awareness with our students about the importance of buckling their seat belt every time they get in a vehicle,” Officer Burwell said. “My hope is that the bracelet will serve as a reminder for them to do that.”

The FCCLA members, along with Officer Burwell, stopped students as they were leaving the Galion campus at the end of the school day, and those who were wearing their seat belt received a bracelet.

“The members of Galion’s FCCLA developed a ‘Traffic Safety Week’ program to help students be more mindful of wearing their safety belt,” FCCLA advisor Robin Stacy said. “We are grateful that School Resource Officer Burwell, the Galion Police Department, and the Galion City Schools assisted us with this project and allowed us to partner up for the bracelet program.”

The Galion FCCLA chapter received a $1,000.00 grant from the national FCCLA organization to develop and implement a safety plan as part of the organization’s national FACTS (Families Acting for Community Traffic Safety) program.

“FACTS is a peer education program through which students strive to save lives through personal, vehicle, and road safety,” Stacy said. “Working with Officer Burwell to distribute the bracelets lined up perfectly with the national program.”

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website almost 2,500 teens in the United States aged 13–19 were killed, and about 285,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes in 2018.

“I appreciate Officer Burwell taking the initiative to partner with our FCCLA student organization to put this campaign together for our students,” Galion Superintendent Jennifer Allerding said. “We do everything we can to make sure our students are safe when they’re at school, and we hope this bracelet reminds them of the importance of buckling their seat belt.”

The Galion FCCLA has 22 members, with Riley Smith, Leah Hall, Wyatt Estep, Olivia Lamb, Jasmine Clingman, and Larissa Franks serving as officers for the 2020-2021 school year.

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