By Beth Christian Broschart
The Parsons Advocate
PARSONS – Tucker County Board of Education member and Parsons Fire Chief Kevin White has reached out to Tucker County School Principals offering to present a program on water safety. DTEMS Principal Alicia Lambert said an incident was brought to her attention and she felt the program was needed.
“It was brought to my attention this morning that we had some kids playing on the river on the ice, not during the school day,” Lambert said during Monday’s Tucker County BOE meeting. “Their parents were really distraught about it because the kids did not understand why their parents were so upset about the incident.”
Lambert said the students told their parents they believed if they fell through the ice, they would catch themselves on the ice and pull themselves out and walk home, with the only danger being their pants would be wet.
“There were some high school kids playing on the ice, and the middle school students felt they could join in – none of the kids saw any real danger in their actions,” Lambert said. “The parents contacted the school and asked us to help – especially since the students did not understand the real danger.”
Lambert agreed, and she called White and asked if a program could be presented school-wide.
“The teachers talked to the students about the dangers,” Lambert said. “I spoke with them and explained with the current, they would not just fall through the ice, but could be swept away. We had some pretty serious discussion. Kevin is coming up to the school to do a half hour program with the middle school and the elementary school students.”
Lambert said the students playing on the ice were very lucky – when the weather warmed and the ice was melting, the parents took the students back down to the place where they were playing – the ice had all melted and was gone.
“I am going to be accompanied by Tom Klus, who is one of the foremost swift water experts in our state, and definitely the best in our county,” White said. “He trains most of the flood people in the state. We put a program together today and I made some posters. I think we will be able to bring a nice program to the students.”
White told BOE members he would report back about the success of the trainings during the next BOE meeting.