Linden Public Schools #8 Collaborates with Linden Police Department to Hold 1st L.E.A.D Graduation Ceremony on January 23, 2023

On Tuesday, January 23, 2024, School #8 held an L.E.A.D Graduation Ceremony for all fifth grade students at School #8. The Linden Police Department partnered with Linden Public Schools to offer L.E.A.D(Law Enforcement Against Drugs) classes for students. The students received instruction to help to strengthen relationships between the Linden Police Department and the students at Linden Public Schools. Each student that completed the program received a Certificate of Completion.

The guest speakers for the event were Police Chief David Hart, Mayor Derek Armstead and Superintendent Atiya Y. Perkins, who brought words of encouragement to the students. 

 “This is truly a special group of kids,” said Police Chief David Hart.  “As the first group of students in Linden to participate in the L.E.A.D. program, we are very proud of the way that they have embraced the curriculum. We are very grateful to have such an invested partner in Linden Public Schools, and we look forward to expanding this program into more schools in the district.”

Superintendent Atiya Y. Perkins said, “L.E.A.D has provided us with an opportunity to continue to strengthen our partnerships with our community. Our students are able to collaborate with the Chief of Police, Sergeants, Detectives, and officers and see them as humans.” That they are not only there to protect and serve, but teach and learn from them as well. School # 8 was the first school to kick off the pilot, said Perkins.

Mayor Derek Armstead was in attendance and brought words of encouragement to the students. Tapinto Linden asked the Mayor his thoughts on the program. He stated,” The earlier we start to educate our young people about the consequences of drugs, the better off we will be.” Drugs have no boundaries, and they affect all of our families. We should do more programs like this for our young people,” said Armstead. 

 The graduation ceremony ended with the students receiving refreshments that were donated by Chemical Services.

For more information on L.E.A.D., please visit

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