If any students in Jackson County experience a distressing event that requires intervention from local law enforcement officers and personnel they'll be "handled with care" in their schools.
Handle With Care is meant to provide the school with a heads up when a child has been identified at the scene of a traumatic event such as a house fire, a domestic violence situation, a shooting, an arrest of a family member, a drug raid or a vehicle accident.
When a child is found on scene an officer will determine their name and where they go to school. Before school starts the next day the officer will make sure the school is sent a note that says to handle that particular child with care.
The program is meant to help children struggling with the effects of a trauma by giving their teachers a bit of insight into the child's previous day to be able to provide support for the student.
If the student needs extra assistance in working through what they saw happen, the school will work with parents to provide help.
“Handle With Care is a great opportunity to work together to help Jackson County children be safe and achieve success in school at their highest levels despite any traumatic circumstances they may be experiencing,” said Elmer Hitt, Interim Director of Police and Fire Services for the City of Jackson.
“Our children experience traumatic events in their lives and then have to report to school the next day and perform as though nothing happened,” said Kevin Oxley, Superintendent of the Jackson County Intermediate School District. “The Handle With Care program supports the child and schools in protecting our students and helping them be successful in the midst the everyday chaos and trauma that so many of us experience.”
The Handle With Care program is a collaboration between the entire law enforcement community, every school district in the county, Center for Family Health, Family Service and Children’s Aid, LifeWays Community Mental Health and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Jackson County office.