Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Police & Teens Program Wraps Up a Successful Year

Since the launch of our newly redesigned Police & Teens program and curriculum, Street Law has been hard at work training law enforcement officers, promoting the program to school resource officers (SROs) across the country, and building important relationships with leaders in the police and school safety communities.

This past school year, our staff trained 76 law enforcement officers to implement the program (plus several classroom teachers and school administrators). These officers, in turn, are expected to reach many middle and high school students in the Little Rock region and Baltimore County.

Little Rock, Arkansas

In fall 2017, thanks to the support of the Walmart Legal Department, Street Law trained seven SROs, three sergeants, one lieutenant, and six educators from the Little Rock, Arkansas, region. Our staff instructed officer-teacher teams in Street Law’s teaching methodology, the Police & Teens curriculum, and strategies for effectively co-teaching in the classroom.

The teams selected five lessons from the 20-lesson curriculum that are most relevant to their students’ lives: bullying, cyberbullying, use of force, searches in schools, and making our communities safer together.

The program reached over 100 students in North Little Rock High School and Cloverdale Middle School during the 2017-18 school year. Participating students reported that because of the program, they:

  • Have a better understanding of police officers’ point of view

  • Have a better understanding of how the law works

  • Trust the school resource officers in their school more

  • Are more likely to go to an SRO for help if they have a problem at school

Students also reported drawing on their skills in problem solving, listening, empathy, communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and interpretation during the lessons.

Students at North Little Rock High School reported that “cyberbullying” was their favorite lesson because it related to real-life situations they are currently facing in school. Teacher Kimberly Stanley commented that students were “very willing to open up in the small group settings.” She added that some students were shocked that the cyberbullying they witnessed at school actually broke laws, but they were also more accepting of the laws than before.

Officer Yolanda Bone, SRO at Cloverdale Middle School, reported that the lessons were easy to follow. In addition, the education staff was so impressed by Street Law for Police & Teens that they decided to expand the lessons to three additional classrooms during the 2018-19 school year and integrate it into the school’s Tools for Success curriculum.

Street Law will continue its work in the Little Rock region and hopes to strengthen and expand its program there to serve more students, officers, and educators.

Baltimore County, Maryland

Baltimore County, Maryland, has the largest SRO program in the country. In May 2018, via a collaboration with former National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) president Don Bridges, Street Law trained 65 Baltimore County officers. The SROS, plus the participating classroom teachers, committed to teaching the new lessons in the upcoming school year. They also reported that the training was engaging, useful, and informative, and that the lesson plans were well prepared and easy to implement. Street Law looks forward to a continued working relationship with Baltimore County SROs!

If you are interested in discussing a possible rollout of Street Law for Police & Teens in your town or school district, contact Yolanda Johnson.