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Law Enforcement Against Drugs (L.E.A.D.) is an initiative program that has partnered with the Hanahan Police Department to teach students the importance of avoiding harmful substances, violence, and more. Essentially, it is saying no to drugs, taken a step further. Fourth-grade students at Bownes Corner Elementary are learning to make a difference, starting with themselves.
“It’s a curriculum where law enforcement officers teach students about making healthy choices,” Officer Monique McCoy said. “It also teaches that, when you go through the real world, you’re gonna come through troubles.”
Through L.E.A.D., students can build relationships with police.
“When they see us out, they’ll want to speak to us more and get their parents speaking to us too,” McCoty said. “So, maybe that’ll create a conversation starter between us and the parents.”
McCoy is certified to teach the 45-minute class, and while doing so, she teaches students to advocate for themselves.
She hopes the lessons go beyond merely the classroom.
“I teach them that if they don’t want to, they don’t have to,” McCoy said. “And they shouldn’t let anyone pressure them into doing anything that they don’t wanna do. And that they can go to any adult to talk to them also.”
McCoy continued: I hope it teaches them that we are regular people too, and we teach them the same things that the teachers are teaching them, the counselors, their parents. We are no different from just regular people. We just wear uniforms.”
The L.E.A.D program aligns with Berkekely County School District’s “Life Skills Initiative.”
The Hanahan Police Department is looking to expand the program across other Hanahan Schools within the next few years.
For more information on L.E.A.D., please visit leadrugs.org