From The Tribune staff reports
MOODY — Around 200 fifth grade students at Moody Middle School will begin instruction on the curriculum implemented by L.E.A.D. (Law Enforcement Against Drugs & Violence), a nationwide nonprofit that works with communities to help students understand the dangers of drugs and violence on Sept. 20.
Students will be instructed by Jason Townes of Moody Police Department, the first School Resource Officer (SRO) at his department who’s been trained to teach the proven effective curriculum implemented by L.E.A.D. During the school day, fifth graders in Moody will learn about the risks of drugs and violence as well as how to set attainable goals, manage their emotions and make wise decisions.
“It’s exciting that SRO Townes is the first member of his police department to become certified to teach our program, educating students on drug and violence prevention and helping them to build skills surrounding effective communication, conflict resolution and social and emotional competency, for instance,” said Nick DeMauro, CEO of L.E.A.D. “We know that he’ll succeed as a L.E.A.D. instructor, helping us with our goal of advancing police-community relationships, and look forward to seeing the positive impact that L.E.A.D. will provide for the kids in Moody.”
SRO Townes said he is looking forward to spending more quality time with the students and teaching them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
“I’m used to just passing by many of the kids during the school day. Even though they already know that my role is to protect them, I’m excited to bond with them on a more personal level and learn as much about them as they will about me,” said SRO Townes. “One of the ways I wish to make an enduring impact on them is by helping them to understand that they don’t need to become involved in everything they see their older peers doing. The children will soon be entering their teenage years, and I’m sure they’ll experience others drinking, vaping and using other types of drugs. If I can ingrain in them that succumbing to the pressure they feel to drink or try drugs could put themselves at risk of going down a bad path in life, then I’ll know I’ve done my job.”