On some of kids’ darkest days, the Mandan Police Department is working with public schools in their town to shed some light on how teachers can be a comfort to kids out of the classroom, and in it.
“Trauma doesn’t go away the next day,” Doreen Oakland, Mandan Middle School counselor says.
When students step into school, they don’t leave their troubles at the door.
“It just helps us understand that we have to find different ways, relationship building, all the time number one, number one, and I do think it lasts,” Oakland says.
Here at Mandan middle teachers and staff are getting some outside help to identify those students who need a little extra care.
“They see these kids way more than we do, a lot of times police only see kids at the bad times,” Lt. Pat Haug, Mandan Police Department says.
So, the Mandan Police Department, along with Mandan Public Schools, are partnering up through the Handle with Care program.
“This gives us an opportunity to get to the kids before anything bad happens,” Lt. Haug says.
Now when Mandan officers answer a call, and a school aged child is there, they pass along a note to Mandan schools.
“Keep an eye on this child and if you see some kind of behavioral issues of some sort, or other, that maybe they should speak with that child or work with that child,” Haug says.
A partnership, that is giving teachers the tools and information they need to help the students who need them most.
“We’re going to help this kid survive because right now that’s what he needs to do is survive and then we’ll try to help him thrive,” Oakland says.
Working together to deliver care and compassion in and outside the classroom one note at a time.
Since the pilot program began in 2017, Lt. Haug says the Mandan Police Department has sent out 20 handle with care notices to Mandan Public Schools.