Students, faculty and staff participated in International Walk to School Day Oct. 5.
Before the morning bell rang, North Junior High School students stood in clusters around teachers and volunteers, stuffing International Walk to School Day swag into backpacks and messenger bags before hurrying to bike racks and lockers.
The morning of Oct. 5, students around the Gem State were joined by political leaders and members of the Idaho Walk Bike Alliance in an effort to raise awareness about student transportation safety. Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Rep. Mike Simpson walked with Longfellow Elementary students, while Boise Mayor Dave Bieter walked to Koelsch Elementary from Winstead Park with a group of school kids.
For North Junior High student counselor Julie Hambleton, it's a chance to reach out to students and the community.
"It's just another way to talk about the issue," she said.
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There have been three traffic accidents involving North Junior High students getting to and from school in the last year.
In addition to volunteers and prizes at the school, there were giveaways and events at Camel's Back and other city parks to bring the issue to the fore for students who walk and bike to class.
According to NJH Principal Jeff Roberts, three students were involved in traffic accidents getting to and from the junior high school in the past year. The most recent incident occurred Sept. 15, but Roberts said the data doesn't tell the whole story.
"The tricky part with that data is kids don't report near misses," he said. "You never know what you don't know."
In May for National Bike to School Day, students, faculty and North End community members unveiled an art trailer designed to slow down traffic along 15th Street, but more permanent measures are being taken to help cyclists and pedestrians be more visible to car traffic—including the installation of an on-demand crosswalk, ambient streetlights, tree trimming and a new sidewalk on the school's border with Resseguie Street.
Roberts said events like National Walk to School Day and National Bike to School Day are good opportunities to teach students about commuter safety and open lines of communication between students and staff about their experiences. When it comes to community and student education about safety, he said, "In this school, we see a need."
The arrest came after election auditors in Nez Perce County and Asotin County in Washington discovered Christopher Billups, 62, of Lapwai, appeared to have voted at a polling site on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation after already mailing in a ballot to Washington.
"When a girl has gone through what my client went through, standard operating procedure for a case like this could have seen all of her medical records of the past five years put into the public record. That's a horrifying prospect for anybody, particularly a 20-year-old girl."