D.A.R.E. America http://www.dare.org Empowering Children to Lead Safe and Healthy Lives Mon, 01 Sep 2014 03:19:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 WKU receives ‘Safe Community’ designation http://www.dare.org/wku-receives-safe-community-designation/ http://www.dare.org/wku-receives-safe-community-designation/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:00:15 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=15423 From wkuherald.com. WKU received an uncommon accreditation this past summer when The National Safety Council recognized WKU as a Safe Community on July 30. WKU was the fourth academic institution to receive this award. The National Safety Council promotes injury prevention and ways to decrease deaths in communities worldwide. Though it’s accredited as a Safe […]

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From wkuherald.com.

WKU received an uncommon accreditation this past summer when The National Safety Council recognized WKU as a Safe Community on July 30. WKU was the fourth academic institution to receive this award.

The National Safety Council promotes injury prevention and ways to decrease deaths in communities worldwide.

Though it’s accredited as a Safe Community, David Oliver, director of Environmental Health & Safety believes the title could be misunderstood.

“To be recognized as a Safe Community doesn’t make WKU safe,” he said. “It’s solely validation that there are programs established on campus that meet the standards of this outside organization. It’s up to the university to be proactive and reactive to situations that arise on campus.”

Despite the effort that goes into improving WKU safety, some officials admit everything is not perfect.

“It’s impossible for our community to stay totally safe, but that’s what keeps Western on its toes,” Rafael Casas, sergeant of the WKU Police, said.

Anita Britt, environmental air quality specialist, said it is everyone’s job to look for ways WKU can improve safety.

“Our job is to keep our standards and efforts high as leaders on this campus,” she said. “When all departments pinpoint what they see as a possible problem we are better prepared to meet the needs of those on our campus.”

Oliver said one of the reasons for why WKU got the accreditation was because of the Student Government Association safety walk.

The walk is a tour around campus where WKU officials and students find areas that may be unsafe.

“This walk lets students express what they felt would better Western’s university,” he said. “We improved lighting down Normal Drive as a result of our students’ concern.”

Britt said safety goes beyond accident prevention.

“As a member of the department of safety, we monitor programs like suicide prevention, housing and residence life and others to minimize foreseeable risks,” Britt said.

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Back to school safety tips for parents, students and drivers http://www.dare.org/back-school-safety-tips-parents-students-drivers/ http://www.dare.org/back-school-safety-tips-parents-students-drivers/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:39:19 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=15420 From www.mlive.com. GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The safety of children is the No. 1 priority on the minds of law enforcement and school leaders as school starts Tuesday, Sept. 2. Grand Rapids Public Schools administrators are reminding motorists to be cautious because students will be walking, riding bicycles and waiting at bus stops. The Ottawa […]

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From www.mlive.com.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The safety of children is the No. 1 priority on the minds of law enforcement and school leaders as school starts Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Grand Rapids Public Schools administrators are reminding motorists to be cautious because students will be walking, riding bicycles and waiting at bus stops. The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office is sharing tips intended to enhance the safety of those returning to school

“Tens of thousands of children are going to be out there, and we need motorists to slow down and for everybody to exercise good judgment,” said John Helmholdt, spokesman for the Grand Rapids district that has approximately 17,000 students returning to class.

He said caregivers should consider mapping out or walking the route with children over the Labor Day weekend.

The Ottawa Sheriff’s Office also suggests reviewing the route among other tips for parents, students and motorists.

Below are the recommendations:

Parents

  • If dropping your child off at school, be aware of school rules regarding student drop offs, most schools ask that you do not drop off your child in the same area as the bus drop off. This is to avoid traffic congestion and helps to reduce the chance of injury to your child.
  • Point out the safe places to cross the street and point out areas of danger.
  • Also show your children homes that display the Michigan Child Watch sign. These are homes that children can come to for help should the need arise. (If you would like more information on the Michigan Child Watch program contact your local police department or the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office).
  • Identify bus stop locations and review and re-enforce the school bus safety rules.

Students

  • If walking to school, use bike paths and sidewalks where available. In areas where there are no sidewalks or bike paths walk along the side of the road facing traffic.
  • Wear light colored clothing and avoid using headphones or other electronic devices that will distract you from traffic.
  • If riding a bicycle to school and there are no bike paths, ride with traffic; if riding in the dark your bike must have a light on it. When riding your bike you should always wear a bicycle helmet.
  • While at your bus stop: do not run into traffic.
  • Arrive to your bus stop early.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • Make sure the bus comes to a complete stop before trying to enter or exit the bus.
  • When crossing the street observe traffic, don’t rely solely on the bus lights, and watch for the signal from your bus driver to cross.

Motorists

  • When driving during the hours prior to school and at dismissal time be aware of traffic around the schools.
  • Many schools still use school speed zones, and as a driver it is your responsibility to know where these zones are and adhere to the posted speed limit.
  • In addition, several schools use Crossing Guards to assist students in crossing the street safely and rely on the motorist to stop when directed.
  • All drivers when approaching a school bus that has activated its flashing red lights must stop. Be alert to children’s unpredictable behavior and wait for the lights to stop flashing before beginning to move again.

 

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Back To School Anti-Bullying Rally http://www.dare.org/back-school-anti-bullying-rally/ http://www.dare.org/back-school-anti-bullying-rally/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:24:50 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=15417 From www.kiiitv.com. CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) – Back here at home with school now underway it’s an issue that students and parents need to be aware of bullying. Saturday, several organizers got together to host a “Back to School” anti-bullying rally at the Reconciliation Church. The event which was free to the community and offered […]

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From www.kiiitv.com.

CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) – Back here at home with school now underway it’s an issue that students and parents need to be aware of bullying. Saturday, several organizers got together to host a “Back to School” anti-bullying rally at the Reconciliation Church. The event which was free to the community and offered workshops and classes for everyone interested it was also a chance to hear from those victims of bullying. Part of this event took place at the “Team Teddy Community Garden” which is in memory of Teddy Molina a Flour Bluff teenager who committed suicide after being the victim of alleged bullying.

KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

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LaVera allegations shed light on school policy, online safety http://www.dare.org/lavera-allegations-shed-light-school-policy-online-safety/ http://www.dare.org/lavera-allegations-shed-light-school-policy-online-safety/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:14:30 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=15414 From Newton Daily News. Three months after news broke that a California man allegedly preyed on local teenagers after visiting two Newton schools, the school board is making progress on a huge safety gap that impacted our students. We think the new requirement that all visitors to Newton schools must provide a form of photo […]

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From Newton Daily News.

Three months after news broke that a California man allegedly preyed on local teenagers after visiting two Newton schools, the school board is making progress on a huge safety gap that impacted our students.

We think the new requirement that all visitors to Newton schools must provide a form of photo identification is a good first step. The next effort — to put into place a volunteer procedure that includes a background check, however, will go much further to ensure student safety.

If the volunteer policy is approved, anyone who would be in direct contact with students will be required to fill out a volunteer application and would comply with a background check that will include criminal, child abuse and sex offender history.

It’s an extra step for a parent who wants to volunteer in a classroom, but one which surely has the students’ best interest in mind.

Another change to policy would require anyone wishing to visit Newton classrooms as an outside resource to seek approval “well in advance.” While the policy should be more concrete about the time period for approval, it does allow the principal to reject the visitor. Moreover, the policy requires parents to sign a permission slip to allow their children to attend presentations from outside visitors within the schools.

Ultimately, these policies will provide tools to the people on the front lines in our school building. We’re fortunate that most schools are maintaining singular locked entrance points and using security cameras. Safety is a priority in the district, and we’re grateful for that.

The accusations against David LaVera will likely continue to be discussed until his charges are resolved in court. While it’s not a bright spot in our community, the school board has taken the opportunity to make our schools safer by reviewing its policies.

It has also given parents an opportunity to review social media expectations with their children. According to court documents, LaVera is accused of using Facebook messages to entice two teenagers. Those messages, according to police, ranged from how the victim should sneak out of the house, to what they should wear.

If you haven’t talked to your children about online safety, perhaps now is the time.

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If Oregon legalizes marijuana, how will it keep roads safe? http://www.dare.org/oregon-legalizes-marijuana-will-keep-roads-safe/ http://www.dare.org/oregon-legalizes-marijuana-will-keep-roads-safe/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 00:46:55 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=15411 The scene of the crash on July 21, 2013. Police charged Samuel Martin Kitto, a 19-year-old Astoria man, with assault and driving under the influence after he fell asleep at the wheel and veered into oncoming traffic. Kitto’s blood tests came back positive for an inactive component of marijuana as well as scant levels of […]

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The scene of the crash on July 21, 2013. Police charged Samuel Martin Kitto, a 19-year-old Astoria man, with assault and driving under the influence after he fell asleep at the wheel and veered into oncoming traffic. Kitto’s blood tests came back positive for an inactive component of marijuana as well as scant levels of meth and ecstasy. Photo credit: Oregon State Police.

From www.oregonlive.com.

Dylan Rabell awoke to the sound of screeching tires.

Riding in the back seat of a friend’s Subaru Legacy, he watched in terror as a Toyota Corolla hurtled toward him and three friends. The Subaru, headed west on U.S. 26 about a dozen miles from the Oregon coast, had drifted into the oncoming lane.

Jacob Engbretson, the front-seat passenger, shouted at the driver.

“Sam!”

No response.

“Sam!”

The cars collided at 60 mph. The Subaru’s front end crumpled like an empty soda can, the hood bursting through the windshield and cutting a jagged gash across Engbretson’s left cheek, according to court records.

Rabell, with a broken rib, looked down at his girlfriend. She had been asleep, leaned over in his lap. Now her back was broken and she couldn’t move. The Corolla’s passenger, a woman returning from a hiking trip with her adult daughter, lay on the pavement groaning in pain.

Samuel Martin Kitto, the 19-year-old Subaru driver who’d fallen asleep at the wheel, also lay on the ground, a bone protruding from a mangled leg.

Prosecutors, convinced that Kitto caused the July 2013 crash while high on marijuana, charged him with assault and driving under the influence.

Winning a conviction would be another matter.

Kitto’s trial illustrates the extraordinary challenges authorities face in proving a driver was high on marijuana, a matter taking on new urgency as Oregonians prepare to vote Nov. 4 on legalizing recreational use of the drug. A key issue for many voters is whether legal pot would put more impaired drivers on Oregon roads — and if so, what authorities would do about it.

Everyone agrees that driving under the influence of any mind-altering substance is dangerous. But what’s the best way to keep roads safe without creating a law so broad it ensnares a lot of innocent drivers?

Oregon’s Ballot Measure 91, unlike laws in Colorado and Washington, sets no limit on the level of THC — pot’s active ingredient — in a driver’s blood. Supporters of the approach say tests are so imprecise they could lead to wrongful convictions. Opponents, though, fear Oregon’s proposal lacks the teeth needed to identify and punish drugged drivers.

“The question, then, is how do you determine if they’re under the influence?” said Josh Marquis, a leading critic of Ballot Measure 91 who is also the Clatsop County district attorney whose office prosecuted Kitto.

The answer, both sides agree, rests on a fragile combination of police observation and imperfect science.

Betting on blood tests

Voters in Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012, but sales started only this year. Authorities in both states said it’s too soon to determine any effect on road safety.

For enforcement, both states placed their bets on blood tests. Each established a 5-nanogram limit on active THC in a driver’s bloodstream. In theory, anyone found over that can be automatically charged with driving under the influence.

But experts say the tests aren’t that clear-cut. Scientifically, marijuana is far more cunning than alcohol, laying a maze of false trails to evade detection.

In the hours before the Clatsop County crash, Kitto and his friends drove together to an all-night rave in the woods and made plans to meet up at Kitto’s car in the morning, according to court testimony. A bleary-eyed Engbretson was the last to return that Sunday morning, July 21, 2013.

At some point, the four passed around a marijuana pipe and, sometime later, Rabell asked Kitto if he was OK to drive home to Astoria.

“He said, ‘Yes, I got it, man,’” Rabell testified.

Kitto, in his testimony, insisted he wasn’t high when he put the key in the ignition.

“That’s why we left,” he said. “Because I felt like I was not under the influence of anything.”

The crash occurred about 9:15 a.m. At a Portland hospital, police took two samples of Kitto’s blood and sent them to a private lab.

One of the tests showed scant levels of meth and ecstasy, which Kitto admitted he’d used three days earlier.

Tests also came back positive for 9-carboxy-THC, an inactive byproduct of marijuana. But two other molecules — the ones that create marijuana’s high — had vanished from his bloodstream.

“The THC parent drug, which is active, was not there,” Robert Hara, a forensic toxicologist who analyzed Kitto’s blood, testified during the trial. “The hydroxy metabolite, which is active, was not there. But the carboxy, which is inactive, was present in this person’s blood.”

In other words, the tests showed there was a good chance Kitto had smoked marijuana “within the last few hours,” Hara said. But, by themselves, they could not prove he was high at the time of the crash.

“Nothing like alcohol”

No test can do that, experts say.

Unlike with alcohol, users of marijuana experience the height of the drug’s effects after the active compounds have faded from detection, research suggests.

A British government study published in 2000, for example, found that blood levels of THC peaked around 10 minutes after smoking, then plummeted. But the strongest feelings of euphoria — and the most impaired driving — came 30 minutes after smoking, even though THC levels had fallen more than 75 percent in some cases.

Alcohol is much different. Though intoxication levels vary by weight, age, gender and other factors, it generally takes an hour for someone’s blood-alcohol content to drop by 0.015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That means if someone drinks enough to hit Oregon’s legal limit of 0.08, it can take more than 5 hours for the person to metabolize the alcohol in their system.

Scientists also have not established a direct link between THC and level of impairment. Two people can have the same blood level but significantly different experiences.

“It’s nothing like alcohol,” said Robert Jones, a supervisor at the Oregon State Police forensics lab in Clackamas. “The concentration of THC in the blood does not correlate to the effects.”

Marijuana is also loaded with complexity. Typical cannabis contains 70 to 80 substances aside from THC that can blur test results, said Jack Richman, a Boston-based pharmacologist who helps train police officers in Oregon’s Drug Recognition Expert program.

Results vary for each person. If Kitto smoked pot regularly in the days leading up to the crash, some amount of byproduct could have lingered in his system.

“You’re dealing with an age factor. You’re dealing with the amount of use factor. You’re dealing with the fact that you don’t know what’s in that cannabis,” Richman said. “It’s not like taking Valium. It’s not like taking OxyContin.”

Oregon collects blood samples only in fatal or near fatal accidents because the drug tests, done at private labs, run $200 to $400 apiece, said Sgt. Michael Iwai, state coordinator of the Drug Recognition Expert program.

Police can call for a urine test in other cases, but those show only whether someone used pot sometime in roughly the previous 30 days. That makes the tests worthless for trying to prove someone was high at a given moment.

In Washington, blood samples are tested for both active THC and the byproduct, said Lt. Rob Sharpe, a commander in the Washington State Patrol’s Impaired Driving Section. That gives police and prosecutors an extra layer of evidence.

But, he added: “There’s no calculation you can do that says X amount of time earlier this person had smoked marijuana.”

Letting officers decide

Backers of Oregon’s proposed law favor relying instead on a police officer’s observations.

“I think a more accurate measure is to look at impairment,” said Tamar Todd, a senior attorney for the Drug Policy Alliance, a national legalization group backing the ballot measure. “In my mind, the best way given what we know and what the science is, the best way to deal with impaired driving is the same way we have for many years.”

Already, Oregon law allows motorists to be convicted of drunken driving if their impairment is “noticeable and perceptible,” regardless of whether their blood-alcohol level exceeded the legal limit.

“We have the tools right now in Oregon, and we don’t need anything else,” said Darian Stanford, a former Multnomah County prosecutor who supports Ballot Measure 91. “For civil liberties reasons and cost reasons, I don’t think it [a THC limit] makes sense.”

In Oregon, now and under Ballot Measure 91, it’s up to officers to identify whether a motorist has been using marijuana.

First, the officer on the scene conducts a field sobriety test, though studies have shown the tests are only moderately effective in detecting marijuana impairment. A 2004 study conducted by three Australian pharmacologists found that field tests had a success rate of 39 to 56 percent. With low levels of THC, the tests detected only 26 to 39 percent of impaired people.

The next step is to bring in one of about 200 specially trained officers, who have passed a three-week training course, to conduct a rigorous 12-step test designed to identify subtle signs of drug impairment.

Training includes how to explain the findings to a jury. “If they can’t articulate it to the jury pool, all is forgotten,” Iwai said.

Conflicting testimony

After the Clatsop County wreck, prosecutors charged Kitto with three counts of second-degree assault, two counts of third-degree assault, one count of possessing ecstasy and one count of driving under the influence. He faced a minimum of six years in prison.

Five other people were hurt, three seriously. Rabell and his girlfriend, Michelle Brugh, have recovered. Engbretson’s face has healed, but doctors told him the scar will never go away. The Corolla’s driver, Karen Anderson, escaped with a few scrapes.

Anderson’s mother, riding in the Corolla’s front passenger seat, took the brunt of the impact because the Subaru had veered so far into the oncoming lane. Audrey Zibelman, who had recently been appointed to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Cabinet, needed 14 surgeries to repair her intestines and broken back, plus months of rehabilitation.

“It was like it was accelerating, not stopping, not slowing,” Zibelman said at Kitto’s four-day trial. “It was like the car was just driving itself.”

Arguments at the trial hinged largely on what people said they saw. That proved tricky because once at the rave, only Rabell and Brugh stayed together.

Rabell testified that he saw Kitto smoking a joint with a disc jockey behind one of the stages around midnight. The next morning, Kitto looked like he hadn’t slept, Rabell told jurors.

Engbretson testified that the group smoked marijuana at the car about 7 or 8 a.m. — an hour or two before the crash. Kitto testified that he had five hits of marijuana at the rave and that the group smoked at the car at 5:30 or 5:45 a.m., just as the sun was rising. He acknowledged that he fell asleep at the wheel but said drugs had nothing to do with it.

His lawyer, William Uhle, told jurors that evidence of Kitto’s intoxication was flimsy. “What the case turns on,” he said, “is what was going on in his head at the time of the crash.”

On March 21, the jury found Kitto guilty of assault, downgraded to third- and fourth-degree, and driving under the influence. The ecstasy charge was dismissed after Engbretson admitted the capsules were his; Engbretson wasn’t charged.

Eleven days later, Circuit Judge Philip Nelson sentenced Kitto to four years in prison. He is now at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton.

“It’s a sad thing what happened with Sam,” Uhle said in a recent phone interview. He still thinks the jury got it wrong.

“You wonder if it’s the right thing to do, but everybody was mad at him,” he said. “He drove 50 miles without weaving or anything.”

Marquis, the Clatsop County district attorney, has a hunch on why his office couldn’t make the more serious assault charges stick.

“In fairness, I can’t say this guy was entirely under the influence of marijuana,” he said. “I think the jury wasn’t all that sure, either.”

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Aninsman Receives Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award http://www.dare.org/aninsman-receives-law-enforcement-officer-year-award/ http://www.dare.org/aninsman-receives-law-enforcement-officer-year-award/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 00:32:28 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=15408 The Pennsylvania police officer has focused on the plight of veterans with PTSD who run afoul of the law. From Business Wire. CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Andrew Aninsman, of the Bensalem Township Police Department in Bucks County, Pa., received The American Legion’s National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award on Aug. 27 at its 96th annual […]

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The Pennsylvania police officer has focused on the plight of veterans with PTSD who run afoul of the law.

From Business Wire.

CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Andrew Aninsman, of the Bensalem Township Police Department in Bucks County, Pa., received The American Legion’s National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award on Aug. 27 at its 96th annual national convention in Charlotte, N.C.

The detective sergeant has served more than 25 years in law enforcement with three police departments in Pennsylvania. Currently, he is a hostage negotiator and supervises the department’s Special Victims Unit.

Knowles—Doyle Post 317 in Bensalem nominated Aninsman for the award. The post adjutant, Robert Craven, wrote in his nominating letter that the law enforcement officer has shown “continued interest in mental-health awareness and training, specifically regarding the Veteran community. (He) began in earnest, concentrating on the plight of Veterans who come into contact with law enforcement officials for any number of reasons on a professional basis.”

Since 2009, Aninsman has helped lead the development and implementation of Bucks County crisis intervention training and has been invited to speak at several conferences across the state about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and associated crisis intervention training (CIT) involving veterans.

“On multiple occasions last year,” Craven wrote in his letter, “the Bensalem CIT was called upon to ‘talk down’ armed individuals who were intent upon committing suicide…. The Team, under Sgt. Aninsman’s leadership, has been completely successful in these high-intensity cases.”

Aninsman is also co-chair of the Bucks County CIT and oversees the handling of all mental-health calls to the police department (more than 500 such calls in 2013). “Many of those calls involved responding to the needs and fears of persons dealing with a Veteran suffering with some form of PTSD,” Craven wrote.

The police department’s website, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and its anonymous “Tip Line” have all been developed by Aninsman. He has assisted with fundraisers for children in need, and for families of fallen heroes.

Aninsman visits local schools and organizations and provides instruction concerning cyber-bullying and the social media. He also implemented the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program in the Bristol Borough School District.

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Community Focus: D.A.R.E. Car Show http://www.dare.org/community-focus-d-r-e-car-show/ http://www.dare.org/community-focus-d-r-e-car-show/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 00:09:34 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=15398 From The Edwardsville Intelligencer. Despite rain, a good amount of cars and visitors came to Edwardsville High School for the 23rd annual D.A.R.E. Car Show on Aug. 17. The event serves as a major fund raiser for the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program presented by the Edwardsville Police Department. Photos by Matt Winte.

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From The Edwardsville Intelligencer.

Despite rain, a good amount of cars and visitors came to Edwardsville High School for the 23rd annual D.A.R.E. Car Show on Aug. 17. The event serves as a major fund raiser for the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program presented by the Edwardsville Police Department.

Photos by Matt Winte.

DARE Car Show DARE Car Show 2 DARE Car Show 3 DARE Car Show 4 DARE Car Show 5

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Lynn Police Issue School Safety Tips http://www.dare.org/lynn-police-issue-school-safety-tips/ http://www.dare.org/lynn-police-issue-school-safety-tips/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 04:11:26 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=15395 From Itemlive.com. LYNN — With the upcoming start of the school year, police are asking adults to speak with their children about personal safety as they travel to school, and officers are reminding travelers to remember school is in session. “Officers from our patrol division will be increasing their visibility and proactive patrols in the […]

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From Itemlive.com.

LYNN — With the upcoming start of the school year, police are asking adults to speak with their children about personal safety as they travel to school, and officers are reminding travelers to remember school is in session.

“Officers from our patrol division will be increasing their visibility and proactive patrols in the areas of the schools,” Lynn Police Lt. Rick Donnelly wrote in a department press release. “When driving, please anticipate the unexpected and be safe.”

Police recommend parents and guardians review personal safety with their children and teach them to obey all road-safety rules.

Police advise:

  • Using crosswalks, especially those manned by crossing guards or equipped with pedestrian lights. Otherwise, go to the nearest intersection to cross the street;
  • Walking on the sidewalk;
  • Observing traffic;
  • Making sure, as a pedestrian, that you are seen before crossing the street;
  • Looking left, right and left again before walking across the street;
  • Establishing eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you;
  • At intersections controlled by traffic lights, obeying the pedestrian lights; if there are only traffic lights, you have the right of way at the green light;
  • Obeying authority figures, such as police officers, firefighters and school crossing guards.

Police also advise commuters to allow extra time in the morning, as many students will again be walking to school.

Police also are warning travelers that they will be on the lookout for offenses including speeding in a school zone, illegal passing of school buses, failing to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, as well as double parking and parking in crosswalks — which parents who are dropping off or picking up students are reminded to avoid.

“We hope this information contributes to a safe school year,” police said.

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SC Attorney General: Internet Predators Getting More Sophisticated http://www.dare.org/sc-attorney-general-internet-predators-getting-sophisticated/ http://www.dare.org/sc-attorney-general-internet-predators-getting-sophisticated/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 03:44:17 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=15392 From www.carolinalive.com. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson sat down with WPDE NewsChannel 15 on Wednesday to talk about the alarming number of internet sexual predator cases in our area and across the state. Wilson said sexual predators are hiding their true identities while using the internet to seek their child victims. “The predators on the […]

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From www.carolinalive.com.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson sat down with WPDE NewsChannel 15 on Wednesday to talk about the alarming number of internet sexual predator cases in our area and across the state.

Wilson said sexual predators are hiding their true identities while using the internet to seek their child victims.

“The predators on the internet are becoming more and more sophisticated because to use the internet is a sophisticated tool in and of itself. Predators are out there patrolling the internet like it’s the new wild, wild west. Like it’s the new frontier. And it is. They can stay anonymous and present themselves in a different way in person than they otherwise would with a young person,” said Wilson.

As a father of two small children, Wilson said arresting and prosecuting internet sexual predators is one of his primary goals as Attorney General.

“As a parent I am very hot on this topic. But also as a prosecutor, I had prosecuted child sex crimes before I was Attorney General. I’ve seen first-hand what happens to kids when they are victimized. I’ve seen what happens to families. It destroys families. And I don’t ever want to see that happen to another family,” he said.

The SC Attorney General’s Office chairs the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).

Since the ICAC was created in 2005, it’s made 441 arrests, which led to 303 convictions. About 55 law enforcement agencies across the state are a part of the task force.

Wilson said the task force is working hard to catch sexual predators, but he’s concerned about the ones who don’t get caught.

“What makes it hard for law enforcement and the good guys patrolling is that we’re always reacting to what the bad guys are doing. The bad guys go to a certain area on the internet. And they’re there just long enough to realize, by the time the good guys get there, the bad guys figure it out and they move, and they change the way they operate. So, we have to adapt to that. So, we’re always playing catch up to the bad guy. What scares me is the number of people that we don’t intercept. So, the question is how many children are we not saving from this predatory behavior?” Wilson said.

He added that parents can help protect their children from sexual predators surfing the internet.

“Monitor your children’s internet usage. Keep the computer, I know everyone’s on WiFi now, laptops float around the house. Have the computer in an open common area where you can see what’s going on. Allowing your 10 or 12 year old to close the door in their bedroom for hours and hours on end on the internet is not a good practice,” he said.

Wilson’s office also has a team of people willing to travel the state to talk with parents and students about internet safety and the dangers of sexual predators.

“They say an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. I’ve got folks in my office standing right here, who are going out to schools, civic groups, rotaries, high schools, middle schools elementary school and presenting,” he said.

For more information on internet safety visit the ICAC Task Force website.

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Our View: Good People Stop Bullying http://www.dare.org/view-good-people-stop-bullying/ http://www.dare.org/view-good-people-stop-bullying/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 03:35:47 +0000 http://www.dare.org/?p=15388 From Morris Daily Herald. We approve of a new state law requiring school districts to have bullying and prevention plans in place, although it’s disappointing if any Illinois school needed to be told to do that. Fortunately, most local school districts do have a plan in place and have been taking bullying seriously for several […]

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From Morris Daily Herald.

We approve of a new state law requiring school districts to have bullying and prevention plans in place, although it’s disappointing if any Illinois school needed to be told to do that.

Fortunately, most local school districts do have a plan in place and have been taking bullying seriously for several years to foster a safe learning environment for all students.

It’s unrealistic to expect schools to be able to control every individual incident of bad behavior, but we can and should expect them to protect students and make sure there are consequences for students threatening, intimidating or physically injuring other students.

But it’s also a community effort, and we’re pleased to see State’s Attorney Jason Helland and the Grundy County No Tolerance Task Force organizing a forum in October on cyberbullying.

The forum is for parents and adults, as well as school faculty and administrators. Participants will learn how bullying and teasing can cause depression and, in some instances, result in suicide.

An anti-bullying assembly for students is scheduled for Oct. 8 at Morris Community High School.

The parent forum, Helland said, is a proactive approach to prevent bullying with the hopes of educating parents to see the signs of being the bully or the victim.

Even the most well-adjusted, confident students could face bullying, and we shouldn’t blame victims. Showing kids that bullying isn’t acceptable, while also teaching them how to build their confidence, character, attitude and wit, will go a long way toward deflating the power of verbal taunts and emotional abuse.

These are valuable lessons that these teens will carry into adulthood, and we applaud teachers, community members and many others for taking a stance against this problem – and for making sure it’s an issue that is publicly discussed.

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