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 PTMA Meeting - October 6, 2009 
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:35 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Appalachian State
I went to the PTMA meeting on October 6, 2009 and listened to Toby Ragan and Matthew Crawford speak. Toby Ragan is an officer with the Boone Police Department and is the school resource officer at Hardin Park Elementary and Matthew Crawford teaches fire education at all the schools and daycares in the area. Toby Ragan talked to us about what his job entails as the school resource officer. He said that he walks through the elementary school every morning and afternoon just to make sure everything looks okay. He often acts as a school counselor talking to the students who are in trouble to find out what the root of the problem is. Most of the time he finds that the real problem stems from their lives at home. He stressed to us that as teachers we are obligated to report any problems that we may even just suspect and we should let the principal know immediately. Most teachers suspect that something is going on when they see a group of kids constantly talking about something and acting suspicious and that even he as the school resource officer is not allowed to go through students bags unless a real gun is suspected. Most of the time he has to deal with upset parents who will come up with all kinds of complaints. As a teacher we will have to learn to deal with upset parents. He told us that the best thing to do is to show patience and to let them talk first and get whatever it is they have out of their systems. He told us a story about having to intervene between a parent and a teacher where the parent was cursing at the teacher. Another problem even in the small town of Boone is separated parents fighting over their children and one of the parents trying to kidnap their children from school. Already this year he had to deal with a situation where a father tried to kidnap his daughter from Hardin Park but a teacher who recognized the man reported the situation and it was taken care of. He said that few drug problems are reported in the elementary school but that drug problems are a much bigger problem at the high school. One teacher witnessed a drug deal right in the middle of her class. The high school is very over crowded and the school resource officer there always has someone in his office. He does a lot of fighting mediation. A lot of children feel safe telling their problems to him just because he is a police officer and they think that he can immediatly fix their problems. After we listened to the school resource officer we listened to Matthew Crawford, the fire educator. He talked to us about how he educates children at school about fire education. When he teaches children to stop, drop, and roll he has the teacher do it along with the class to get the children more motivated to do it. He stressed that he has to be ready for anything because of different education and family values. He trains all school staff with CPR and other things that can be done while the teacher is taking care of the student because it can take up to 10 minutes for an ambulence to arrive. He also gave everyone who attended free frisbees from the Boone Fire Department. Both of the guys talked to us about all the different programs that teachers can go through to feel safer while in the classroom. He is involved in one local program called Rapid Deployment Training which teaches teachers about lockdown procedure. It teaches to hide the students, to cover the windows and doors, and about the red/green card procedure.

Stephanie Gilliam

Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:30 pm
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