By Capt. Thomas Cieslak/16th MP Bde. PAOOctober 29, 2010
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Keeping Fort Bragg residents safe is a top priority for all levels of leadership.
Allowing young children to walk home from Fort Bragg schools without supervision creates an unsafe environment on post. It is also against Fort Bragg regulations and punishable through administrative and / or punitive action.
"It is critical that parents and guardians understand their requirements for safeguarding their school age children here on Fort Bragg as outlined under the 'Home Alone Policy,' Letter 87," said Col. Chad McRee, commander of the 16th Military Police Brigade and Fort Bragg's director of Emergency Services.
The Fort Bragg Home Alone Master Policy 87, dated December 2009, states that young children must be directly supervised at all times by a parent or designated guardian. This includes waiting with children until they board a bus.
"The requirements, outlined under this policy letter, require children from birth through the fourth grade to be supervised at all times, and this would include being escorted by a parent or appointed guardian to and from school," said McRee. "This also applies to children being placed on school buses. This is a parental necessity to ensure our young children get on the correct bus in a safe and orderly manner."
Parents who violate the policy negate the safe environment it is intended to create, potentially endangering their children. Busy roads filled with commuters traveling to and from work and active construction zones with moving machinery are common during the times Fort Bragg schools release young students.
Enforcement of the policy will involve cooperation between Families, Fort Bragg school officials and military police.
"Military police, in concert with our on-post Department of Defense Education Activity school officials, will continue to remind Families of current policy, but additionally, we will identify those who are not in compliance with current Department of the Army and Fort Bragg policies regarding their school age children and we will be forced to involve servicemember chains of command to correct violations of current policy," saidMcRee about enforcement of the policy.
McRee added that nothing compares to the watchful eyes of a parent.