JOINT STATEMENT FROM LOOGOOTEE SCHOOLS AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
Because the safety and security of our students is our primary concern and responsibility, Loogootee Community Schools (LCS) and local law enforcement officers are proud to be active partners with our community and other agencies in a comprehensive K-12 education program to prevent illegal drug and alcohol use.
LCS programs include:
Elementary, middle and high school health classes that teach about the perils of drug usage and about the importance of making healthy choices for what goes in the body.
The Martin County Sheriff, Travis Roush, comes to Loogootee Elementary each year. Sheriff Roush provides a book for our students that teaches about healthy choices including drugs, bullying etc.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office comes to Loogootee Middle School each year in the fall to lead a Drug Education Program with lessons that teach students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Students leave with a book to share with their family as a tool to continue the conversation.
The Martin County Probation Department comes to Loogootee Middle School each year in the spring to teach the "Legal Education to Arrest “ (L.E.A.D.) program which addresses delinquent behavior such as alcohol, tobacco, and drug use and possession. This training addresses what kinds of consequences juveniles face for illegal activity including the use of drugs and alcohol. Several guest speakers from our community are used in the L.E.A.D. program.
Indiana State Troopers come to Loogootee Middle School each year and teach a monthly program throughout the year with the entire sixth grade that includes topics on drugs, alcohol, peer pressure and character.
Loogootee Elementary, Middle and High Schools all conduct a "Red Ribbon Week" each year where activities are conducted to celebrate the merits of living a drug free life.
Loogootee High School has an active Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.) club that conducts many activities during the year to promote positive choices.
Through a grant with Youth First, Loogootee Middle School teaches a curriculum for grades 6-8, called "Life Skills", that teaches about peer pressures, drug and alcohol prevention.
Loogootee Schools are one of the few districts in the state with a Youth First social worker. Mrs. Christmas works with students of all ages on the benefits of positive choices. She has a wealth of knowledge and training to assist our students with all types of problems including when a student chooses to become involved in drug use. Her services also include helping parents and students find proper outside assistance when needed.
Youth First annually offers a "Strengthening Families Seminar" for families who have students between the ages of 10-14. This program teaches strategies for improved parenting, better decision making by children, and family communication skills.
Youth First also teaches a "Teen Series Program" for 9th grade students where five (5) relevant topics for teens are taught including, life as a teenager, substance use and abuse, dating, coping skills for depression/anxiety and family relationship issues.
In addition, Loogootee Schools have implemented other strategies to assist in the fight against drug usage including:
Loogootee High School has started a random drug testing program for all our students who participate in any extracurricular activity including all student drivers. This is the strongest program the law allows.
All administrators have been trained to identify drug paraphernalia, drug messages and signs of drug usage.
Our teachers have received training on symptoms and signs of any student who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
LCS works with parents and students to connect them with community resources including Samaritan Center and Meadows Hospital when counseling and/or rehabilitation is deemed necessary.
LCS has an open invitation with local law enforcement officers to come to our campus and conduct a legal search for drugs using trained canine units. A plan is in place for officers to be on our campus on a regular basis.
LCS has an open invitation to Loogootee city police, Martin County officers and state policeman to visit LCS at any time to walk our hallways to ensure student safety. We are thankful that many law enforcement officers do this on a regular basis.
LCS has a strong discipline code in place that includes mandatory suspensions and potential expulsions for any students under the influence or in possession of drugs or alcohol during the school day.
Loogootee Community Schools and local law enforcement officers are proud to partner with you as we strive to raise our youth to become the leaders of tomorrow. We believe, as members of this great community, we are all in this together. We encourage parents and students to inform law enforcement officers and school administrators - those in a position to address and resolve the issue - as soon as possible with any valuable information you may have. The safety and security of our students is our primary concern and responsibility - today and every day.
In the Spirit of Cooperation,
Chip Mehaffey, Superintendent of Loogootee Schools
Kelly Rayhill, Loogootee Police Chief
Travis Roush, Sheriff of Martin County