Starting on March 27, about 2,700 students PreK-12 in Waller County will be educated 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.
Marilyn Vaughn, Royal ISD police chief, along with officers Dalton Williams and Lyndon Stamps, received the training to teach the program.
Now, during the school day, students at Royal Early Childhood Center, Royal Elementary School, Royal Stem Academy, Royal Junior High School and Royal High School will learn how to strengthen their goal setting, decision making and communication skills in addition to receiving age-appropriate lessons on the dangers of bullying, drugs and violence.
“We welcome the Royal ISD Police Department into our family, and we’re confident that the impact Chief Vaughn, Officer Williams and Officer Stamps will have on their community will contribute toward our goal of strengthening police-community relationships,” Nick DeMauro, L.E.A.D. CEO, said. “We’re thrilled for the children in Waller County to reap the benefits of our program as they’ll take away crucial life skills in addition to learning about the importance of drug and violence prevention.”
L.E.A.D. provides services “On the Street” and “In the Classroom” as it brings law enforcement and communities closer together. The “In the Classroom” program is taught by 3800 trained instructors in 41 states. L.E.A.D. has a proven effective, law enforcement-focused anti–drug, anti–violence curriculum for K-12 students in the U.S. The L.E.A.D. curriculum is taught over the course of a 10-week program to educate youth on how they can make smart decisions without the involvement of drugs or violence.
Vaughn believes students gaining knowledge that will help them learn how to make more informed decisions in their day-to-day lives is the main benefit that L.E.A.D. will provide.
“The material we teach will vary for each grade level that we’re teaching since the children are of numerous ages,” Vaughn said. “However, I have no doubt that all 2696 students in the organization will learn a valuable lesson that they’ll find useful throughout the rest of their school careers and beyond. Officer Williams, Officer Stamps and I are very impressed with the program, and we can’t wait to observe the kids begin to make better choices throughout it.”
Vaughn said she looks forward to spending time and building a relationship with the students in the classroom and is grateful to L.E.A.D. for giving her the chance to do so.
“Communication is lacking between the police and kids, and these 10 weeks will be the perfect opportunity to start working on it,” Vaughn said. “I’m certain that we’ll form strong bonds with the students by having the opportunity to teach them such a prominent subject matter, and I’m excited to see how the relationships develop.”
Vaughn said the interaction with the police officers during the school day is one of the program’s greatest aspects.
“It’s great that we’ll get to know the students on a more personal level while we educate them on the harms of bullying, drugs and violence, which is a topic that may be better coming from us as opposed to their families or friends,” Vaughn said. “Our interaction with the children will also help to bridge the gap between our police department and the community in Waller County, which is incredibly important to L.E.A.D. as it is to us.”
For more information on L.E.A.D., please visit www.leadrugs.org