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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - It's back to school for a lot of students at the end of the month and gearing up for the school year takes more than all the right supplies and clothes.
The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office said it has been working hard all summer to prepare to keep students safe as they spend a big part of the day away from family, under the supervision of school faculty and student resource officers.
Sgt. Jerry Brewer, a spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office, said resource officers have attended multiple different disciplines of bullying training, such as cyber bullying. He added that recognizing bullying language and keeping open lines of communication are the most important things to helping a student in need.
The GREAT, Gang Resistance Education and Training also ties into the Sheriff's Office initiative of helping students feel comfortable communicating with law enforcement on campus.
"This year we've stepped it up a bit, and we've added something called the ‘GREAT Family'-- this invites out the entire family to learn about recognizing gang related activity and bullying activity, so they can learn how to tackle it," said Brewer.
In addition to training for issues like bullying inside schools, SRO's have been involved in "active shooter" training, in order to prepare for a scenario involving a gunman inside the school.
"It's key to take a different approach to situations like this—after Columbine and even the theater shooting in Colorado, a lot of people imagine that madman scenario happening in their child's school. So at the Sheriff's Office we are training to be proactive with our preparedness rather than just reactive to a terrible situation, "said Brewer.
Each school level in New Hanover County has student resource officers on campus. There are two at every high school, one in each middle school and floating officers to tend to elementary needs.
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Courtesy of: Intracoastal Realty Corporation
Courtesy of: Intracoastal Realty