Madison Magazine June-July 2019 - Page 4

Profile Officers and deputies from departments throughout Madison County serve as School Resource Officers in schools countywide to raise awareness on substance abuse and build self-esteem in students School Resource Officers Serve as Positive Role Models T here’s nothing quite like the sinking, panicked feeling you get as a parent when you see yet another school shooting in the news. Or a drunk driving accident that killed children or teenagers, who have barely started their lives. Even your own child, in tears, afraid of go- ing to school because of the bully that awaits them the next day can leave you reeling. Every one of these incidents involves one common theme: someone made a terrible choice. The Madison County Sheriff ’s Office and Berea Police Department are com- mitted to helping our children learn the importance of making good choices through their work as School Resource Officers, or SROs, in cooperation with the Madison County School District. SROs are committed to provid- ing area schools with a safe learning environment. They’re there eight hours a day, five days a week, to give classroom presentations, talk to stu- dents in the hallways or attend school events. They serve as the eyes and ears of the collective school commu- nity, keeping watch over the students and showing them how to make posi- tive choices. Seven Madison County Deputy 4 Madison Magazine J U N E - J U LY 2 0 1 9 Sheriffs and Berea Chief of Police David Gregory recently gathered to discuss the tools they’re using to help students make positive decisions regarding substance abuse and peer pressure, as they help build their self- esteem. Story and photos by Shannon Holbrook Too Good for Drugs One of them is the Too Good curricu- lum, an evidence-based program ap- proved by Kentucky’s Department of Education, with materials and train- ing provided by the Mendez Founda- tion. “This is not just drug awareness, it’s helping them become stronger people and citizens and to build relationships with them,” said Gregory. Gregory is largely responsible for bringing the curriculum to the schools, starting with Berea’s Farristown Middle School in 2009 and growing into Madison County schools. “I feel it’s made a significant impact with our youth,” said Gregory. He notes that several current high school seniors remember him teaching them in the sixth grade. “They talk to me about the impact it’s had on their life to help with their decision making, to know they’re responsible for their ac- tions and they can be held accountable Officer Amanda Madden teaches the Too Good curriculum to students at Clark Moores Middle School. Photo Courtesy of Amanda Madden.