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The Georgia Emergency Management Agency is the lead state agency for coordination of emergency and disaster response activities. As pupils head back to school, it offers this advice to improve school safety.

IN SCHOOL

- Students should tell an adult - a school official, resource officer or parent - if they hear about a weapon at school.

- Children who are bullied also should tell an adult.

- Parents should ask school officials whether they have a safety plan in place, and how it is exercised.

- Children should pay close attention when their school conducts fire drills or tornado drills.

- Parents should know what to do if there is an emergency at their child's school. They should not go to the school; instead, they should listen to TV and radio reports for instructions on how to pick up their children.

- Students, staff, parents or visitors to a school should report any kind of suspicious activity.

ON THE SCHOOL BUS

- Parents should do a practice walk to and from the bus stop with young children before the school year begins.

- Make sure children don't use shortcuts or isolated routes on their way to and from the bus stop.

- Children should know which neighbors they are allowed to visit and which houses they can go to for safety.

- Parents should be cautious about putting their child's name on the outside of clothing or other items.

- Children should be taught to say "no" to anyone who tries to touch them or treat them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.

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