Stutsman rural schools to get new programNext year rural schools in Stutsman County will have a program to teach students about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse called Community Safety Net.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Next year rural schools in Stutsman County will have a program to teach students about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse called Community Safety Net.
Community Safety Net is similar to D.A.R.E., except the program will be run by the Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office, not the Jamestown Police Department.
Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser said he’s wanted to get back into the schools, but flooding issues the past couple of years have kept him from it.
Community Safety Net — which will go into effect next school year — consists of a book, PowerPoint presentation and DVD, along with quizzes and other interactive activities. The book also has information for parents.
The program which will be implemented next year deals with drug education, including everything from tobacco to methamphetamines.
“The book is really up to date,” Kaiser said. “They’re on top of their material.”
The sheriff and two other officers will go into the schools and present the information to fifth-graders.
“Fifth grade seems to be the point where they get hit with the drugs and alcohol, so we like to try and curb it at that point,” he said.
In the future, Kaiser said he’d like to use the Community Safety net program about rural safety, or farm safety.
The rural safety aspect is used by many smaller communities in the state, said Tom Meester, North Dakota project coordinator for Community Safety Net.
The organization also offers fire safety, junior fire safety and personal safety. Meester said they are all important lessons for children, but he agreed that with drug prevention the more awareness, the better.
“The No. 1 thing about prevention, the more times you present them with the material, the better they are,” he said.
Nick Hardy, school resource officer with the Jamestown Police Department, has been running the D.A.R.E. program locally for two years.
Hardy said a program like Community Safety Net is needed in rural schools.
“It’s good to see Sheriff Kaiser doing this. I think every school needs a program to see kids making healthy choices,” he said. “It’s good to see the Sheriff’s Department doing this and it fits them perfectly.”
Unlike D.A.R.E., Community Safety Net is funded with private funds, not public ones. Community contributions bring the program to schools. Those interested in sponsoring the program can call the Sheriff’s Office at 252-9000.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com