G.R.E.A.T. Middle School Componenthttp://www.great-online.org/Components/MiddleSchool.Aspx
Over the past 5 years we have noticed a rise in gang activity, graffiti and youth involved in criminal activity. The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office recognizes the need to educate the youth in our community about the dangers of being in a gang, ways to avoid gangs as well as alternatives to joining gangs. The G.R.E.A.T. program will be taught in the 7th grade in Iredell/Statesville schools.
The G.R.E.A.T. Program is a school-based, law enforcement officer-instructed classroom curriculum. The primary objective is prevention and is intended as an immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership. The G.R.E.A.T. lessons focus on providing life skills to students to help them avoid delinquent behavior and violence to solve problems. G.R.E.A.T. offers a continuum of components for students and their families. If you click on the link (G.R.E.A.T. Middle School Component) you will see what the G.R.E.A.T. program has to offer.
School Resource Officer (SRO)
The School Resource Unit emphasizes early intervention in the lives of youth who are at risk. The team includes 2 lieutenants, Sergeant and 10 school resource officers. The goal is to redirect negative behavior before it lands a student in the court system.
Unit members are active in Iredell County teen programs, which divert minor offenders from the juvenile justice system. Programs are designed to empower youth to take charge situations that could adversely affect them. School resource officers and juvenile crime detectives work together and are regularly in contact with the same youths.
A full-time school resource officer is in each of the High Schools, Middle Schools, alternative school and Springs Academy in Iredell County. The officers work with school administrators and on security and safety issues and investigate crimes in which students are victims or suspects.
Programs initiated by school resource officers include: D.A.R.E. in 6th Grade, G.R.E.A.T. in 7th Grade, Conflict Resolution & Peer Mediation, Students Against Violence Everywhere (S.A.V.E.), and community service projects. The officers give classroom presentations on law and crime prevention topics. They are also available for conferences with students, parents and faculty.
A school resource officer is a certified law enforcement officer who is permanently assigned to provide coverage to a school. The S.R.O. is specifically trained to perform three roles: law enforcement officer; law-related counselor; and law-related education teacher. The SRO is not necessarily a D.A.R.E. or G.R.E.A.T officer (although many have received such training), security guard, or officer who has been placed temporarily in a school in response to a crisis situation but rather acts as a comprehensive resource for his/her school.
Overview S.R.O.s provide information and advice to students concerning subjects about which they have expertise. They are familiar, for example, with the workings of the juvenile court system and can provide guidance about processes and services. They can offer suggestions about programs that might be available. As law-related education teachers, S.R.O.s draw upon their expertise about the law. As with the counseling role, S.R.O.s are not replacements for teachers or S.A.P’s; rather they provide an additional resource, which can be drawn upon to teach young people about the law. . They can enhance teachers’ efforts to educate students about rights and responsibilities. They can it make clear that student responsibilities are associated with the rights we all enjoy as citizens living in this democracy.
Duties of the School Resource Officer
This allows parents and students to speak with the S.R.O. serving them. The Iredell County Sheriff's Office hopes that students will use this service to promote better communication between the two. We hope that students will use this service to provide information on concerns and/or criminal activity in the school environment.
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SCHOOL RESOURCE FROM THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE, TROUTMAN AND STATESVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENTS RECEIVE TRAINING IN VOLITILE SCHOOL SITUATIONS
Maneuvering through a maze of desks and tables in the hallway at West Iredell Middle School, the four-person team came upon two frightened girls.
"Get down on the ground," the leader of the team, Deputy Matt Burleyson ordered. The girls went to the ground, lying on their stomachs on the tile floor. "Check them for weapons," Sgt. Marsha Sigmon said.
This scene played out at the school Thursday as part of a training session for school resource officers and school safety personnel. The session was designed to allow the SRO’s and school personnel to learn how to handle volatile situations, from a person with a gun in the school to being put in the middle of a domestic violence situation.
"You used to say it couldn't happen here, but that's not so anymore," she said. "That's why this is needed."
Wooten and Lynn Findley, school secretary, took part in some of the training. A woman came into the office, telling them her husband was on his way to harm her and the children. Within seconds, a man ran into the school, headed to the eighth-grade hall.
"There he goes," the woman told the office personnel.
Findley immediately launched into putting the school into a lockdown procedure and notifying the SRO.
"Could that happen here?" asked Iredell County Sheriff's Office Captain Rick Eades.
"Yes," Findley and Wooten replied.
Eades said both women performed their roles well. "You were quick on the phone and quick on the lockdown," he said.
Iredell-Statesville Schools Safe Schools Coordinator Steve Hampton said it is important to include office personnel in such training. "You may be in here by yourself," he said.
After the office staff got a quick course in crisis management, the scenarios moved on to involve SRO’s from the sheriff's office and Statesville and Troutman police department officers.
In the first scenario, I-SS Safety Compliance Officer Mike James was put to work as a teacher who had been assaulted by a student, played by Travis Burnette.
TPD Officer Kerry Baker was told what the situation was, and he came into the classroom to see Burnette "assaulting" James.
Kristi Johnson and Ashley Hanna were to run toward the officers, yelling about a gunman in the eighth-grade hall.
The duty of the first team of officers and deputies is to move toward the threat, Cranford told them.
Their role is to make sure the girls were not armed or injured, to secure them and keep moving toward the threat, he said.
Another student, Emily Church, crouched in the hall, pretending to be wounded by the gunman.
Inside a classroom, Wooten waited with "injured" student Courtney Hanna. Both directed them down the hall toward the shooter.
During the scenario, Eades and Cranford stopped the team of Bryan Whitlow, Sigmon, Burleyson and Dallas Hicks, to let them know what they were doing right or wrong.
"This is why we practice these things," Eades said.
The four-person team cornered the shooter, Burnette, in the girls' bathroom.
Later, another group of officers, SPD's Chris Bowen, Burleyson, and ICSO Deputies Chris Nesbit and Scott Maple, ran through a similar scenario.
This time they cornered the suspect in a hallway.
Hampton said while these scenarios might seem far-fetched, that's not so anymore, and all school staff needs to know what to do.
"That's where this helps out," he said.Sheriff Phil Redmond said, “ We hope this sort of thing never happens in our schools, but we must be prepared when it does.” Iredell/Statesville Schools superintendent Brady Johnson said, “It is critical that schools and Law Enforcement work together as partners to be prepared for such incidents.”
Statesville Police Department SRO, Supervisor
Troutman Police SRO, Supervisor
Middle School Resource Officers
High School Resource Officers
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Last updated: 12/17/2014