When parents get into legal trouble, the stress of that situation can often reflect in their child’s behavior at school. But, a new partnership between Marinette County Law Enforcement and the Marinette School District could help school officials address these issues in a more effective and appropriate manner. Marinette Middle School Associate Principal Matt Hansen spoke to the County’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee last week about a program being implemented in other parts of the country called “Handle with Care.” Hansen explained the system allows law enforcement to alert school officials when a student may have been involved in or witnessed a traumatic situation, such as domestic violence or the arrest of a parent. The alert would not go into detail about the incident, but would simply ask teachers and staff to handle that student with care.
While law enforcement officials at the meeting seemed receptive to the idea, most agreed there are a lot of details left to work out. Namely, Marinette Police Chief John Mabry says, how officers will know which incidents a child is exposed to are deemed potentially traumatic.
The Handle with Care program originated in West Virginia. Hansen and local law enforcement officials are hopeful to schedule a meeting with program coordinators to further explore the system’s requirements and implementation.