MEXICO, NY – National experts on school safety, Safe Havens International father and son team, Michael and Chris Dorn, visited Oswego County BOCES recently providing in-depth training sessions on weapons concealment and detection, bullying, and drug awareness.
The training initiative, funded through the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools grant that OCB received last year, focused on awareness, observation, identification, and, ultimately, prevention.
Starting off the training with a shocking concealed weapons demonstration, Chris Dorn pulled out nearly 200 weapons that he had hidden in his clothing.
The room went silent as he revealed items ranging from brass knuckles to a three-foot long sword.
The Dorns talked about the importance of supervision and security in preventing possible incidents.
Most importantly, the team spoke about behavior observation techniques and key indicators in detecting if a person could be carrying a weapon.
During an interview with a News Channel 9 representative who stopped by for a portion of the training, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Support Services Jane Suddaby reiterated the importance of this training as a method of incident prevention and said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe don’t want people to think there are massive amounts of weapons in schools, especially BOCES, because there’s not.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
The powerful training segment revolving around bullying helped educate the staff members on identifying bullied students and creating an environment that combats bullying.
Michael Dorn talked about his personal experience with a series of bullies throughout his life and how this affected his education and ability to focus and learn at school.
He talked about living in fear and feeling alone and helped the OCB staff members understand what itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s like to be the child that is bullied and how to end the cycle of bullying.
He reiterated the importance of creating a safe environment for all students and said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe steps you take to make your school safe matters to kids.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
During the final portion of the training, High as a Kite, Chris Dorn presented a session focused on a range of contraband and abused substances including associated paraphernalia that have been found in schools across the United States.
Through extensive research and interviews with drug dealers, users, traffickers and law enforcement, Chris familiarized the staff members with some of the common and not-so-common drug nicknames and key identifiers to detecting students who might be using and/or dealing drugs at school.
In addition to Safe Havens International, OCB through the support of the REMS grant has partnered with the Oswego County Fire CoordinatorÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Office, Oswego County Emergency Management Office and the New York State Police to conduct multiple cooperative training opportunities for staff members focusing on readiness, safety, security and emergency preparedness.
Incidentally, OCB was the only school district in New York State to be awarded the REMS grant in 2007.