Madison Magazine June-July 2019 - Page 6

they can often curtail issues before they worsen. “You know when they’re off, when things don’t seem right,” said Mad- den. Wright intercepted a police call for a school event where a student was seen pacing, causing concern in others and prompting the call. “I knew that student, who is on the autism spectrum, so I was able to help with the situation,” he said. Part of their work is getting to know the students’ likes, dislikes, and hobbies. “We talk Fortnite every time, every single class,” laughed Gregory, as all the officers nodded in agreement. Calling All Parents The curriculum is inclusive to the students’ most criti- cal support system, too: their family. The SROs send home a paper detailing the week’s workout for parents or caregiv- ers to review, discuss and sign. SROs know that they often see more than parents daily by watching and “keeping their antennas up” as Wright says, at the schools. Still, they say parents can do a lot at home to support their efforts and protect their children. “Check those phones, and any electronic devices, do impromptu checks — I do that with my daughter,” Wright said. “That may not elimi- nate the problem, but it will keep them aware that, hey, if I’m doing something wrong, I might get caught.” He encourages parents to keep a tab on friends, espe- cially if they suddenly earn a new set. Parents should be- ware of any isolation, behavior changes, or if their kid’s grades drop, too. One officer checks his teen- ager’s phone at least every 3 or 4 days as well as a sweep of his room. “It’s not that I don’t trust him, it’s just that I want to get it early in case there’s an issue,” he said. “Parents need to be keeping tabs on their children,” Wright notes. “They are far more advanced in the uses of social media, that’s why you need to have someone you can go to, one of their peers, where you can ask what’s up with this app — that’s how I find out.” The officers see that today’s kids are dealing with peer pressure 24/7 with social me- dia, and they can’t just turn it off. “I didn’t have social media in high school so when I went home it was kind of safe, then I’d come back to school the next day and those guys were bullying me,” said Officer Cody Shepherd, who serves Berea Community School. “But now it’s 24 hours a day they can bully you,” “You need to monitor their social media,” said Madden. “Because these platforms add stress to their lives.” “I think parents don’t realize the magnitude of how impor- tant social media is to teenag- ers,” said Maupin. “These kids are classified in school by how many friends or followers they have.” “Their reality is the most false world there is,” he con- tinued. “And parents need to start parenting and stop trying to be their kid’s friends.” “Kids today can’t communi- cate with you because they’re on their phones constantly,” said Stotts. “They need to learn how to communicate with people, and this program gives them that.” “There’s a lot more that kids have to deal with now that our generation never had to en- counter,” said Gregory. Parents can rest assured they have another set of eyes on their children to help steer their moral compass, believe in them, and provide a positive role model. “I feel like you hear people say all the time, ‘that kid doesn’t have a chance’,” said Madden. “This program is giv- ing every kid in the county a chance.” NEW! Boutique at N AT A T I V E B AG A G E L c o . LO L O C A L T A ST S T ES E S B E T T E R 436 CHESTNUT ST T. . B E R E A , K Y MONDAY - F RID AY 7AM - 2PM S ATURD AY 8AM - 2PM W W W. W . N A T I V E B A G E L LC COMP PA AN NY. Y . C O M | 8 5 9 - 7 5 6 - 6 1 8 5 ORDER ONLINE ONLINE, , P PAY A AY ONLINE, ONLINE , SKIP S K IP T THE H E LINE with CL CLOOSIV OOS IV 6 Madison Magazine J U N E - J U LY 2 0 1 9 Large Selection of Women’s Apparel, Jewelry, Footwear, Accessories and Gifts! Locally Owned & Operated • EKU Bypass Light #9 OPEN: Mon-Fri 10 to 8, Sat 9 to 8, Sun 1:30-6 623-8561 PARK AT OUR DOOR