Aarons Insurance
Adventures Off Road
Crockett Cinemas
D.E. Hill & SonsDustin's Lawn CareEnvy Tanning & Day SpaFox Sporting GoodsGreens Furniture
Groucho's TiresHollands PharmacyHood Flora Realty J & G Tire Center
Kelly Appliance & Vacuum
Lawrenceburg Florist Lawrenceburg Glass Lynn Electronics
Mckelvey's Flowers
Miss Millie'sMo's Pawn Nature's NuggetsNewton Backhoe ServiceOn Second ThoughtOne Stop Medical Pettus Turnbo Funeral Home Randy's Cycle & ATV Rick's Electrical
Salt GlowSwap and Shop Center True Value HardwareWall-Modrall Insurance




Kelly Appliance & Vacuum 931-244-7200


D.E. Hill & Son 762-9584



J & G Tire Center 931-762-0078




On Second Thought Consignment 931-244-7244


Crockett Cinemas 931-762-6821



One Stop Medical
One Stop Medical 762-9797


On Second Thought Consignment 931-244-7244




Envy Tanning & Spa 931-762-3689


Rick's Electrical & Plumbing 931-242-5325



Lynn Electronics 762-0401


Newton Backhoe Service 931-242-0305


Lawrenceburg Florist 762-3722
McKelvey's Flowers 762-4511


Pettus-Turnbo Funeral Home 762-3291


Green's Furniture
Swap & Shop Center


Miss Millie's 931-762-9577


Lawrenceburg Glass 766-1004



True Value Hardware 762-7516


Salt Glow 931-279-4780

Nature's Nuggests 762-2895



Adventure Off Road 852-5445


Aarons Insurance 931-629-8065
Baker Agency 762-4550
Wall-Modrall Insurance 762-6528


Dixon's Fine Jewelry 762-9979



Dustin's Lawncare
Dustin's Lawn Care 242-4414



NATURAL FOODSNature's Nuggests 762-2895


Randy's Cycle & ATV 762-2450




Mo's Pawn Shop 762-2529



Holland's Pharmacy 931-762-2220


By Pass Pools 931-762-7904


Hood & Hester Realty 244-7555




Fox Sporting Goods 931-766-0313



Loretto Storage 931-853-7867


Envy Tanning & Spa 931-762-3689



Groucho's Tires 931-762-1707


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

School safety: a comprehensive approach
Part 2 of 2

Last week I talked about measures the Lawrence County School System has taken to keep everyone in our schools safe. School Resource Officers, secure entryways, a visitor screening system, and student preparedness are all part of a well-thought-out plan that continues to evolve with the times.

In the second part of our discussion of school safety, we’ll look at another approach: one that helps build relationships so violent incidents can perhaps be prevented on the front end. Safety experts all agree that the most important thing we can do to prevent school violence is to help all our students feel connected, valued, and a part of our overall communities.

In 2015 Lawrence County received one of three AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education) grants allocated in Tennessee. A lot of progress has been made in the last three years to make school a positive experience for everyone; help students build relationships with one another and adults; and restore students who may feel isolated and alone. This program helps students who are struggling mentally and emotionally and is a labor of love and compassion for children who are hurting.
 “Lawrence County is on the cutting edge of this work,” said Director April Abercrombie. AWARE components include:

Professional Counseling Services – If a child is experiencing problems, teachers, parents, and even students themselves can ask for help through the school system website, www.lcss.us. A click on the AWARE logo opens a fillable form that goes to an AWARE social worker for follow-up. If needed, professional and confidential mental health services can be arranged for students and their families. Counseling takes place at the student’s school.

Education– AWARE has multiple training programs available for schools about ways help children who are struggling.  Two are available to the public:
- An AWARE social worker teaches a six-week Parenting class each quarter. The class uses Love and Logic curriculum and it is designed for parents of any age child. Sign up by calling 762-5251, extension 115.

- Anyone who interacts with adolescents (12-18) is encouraged to learn Youth Mental Health First Aid. It’s a full-day training that introduces common mental health challenges for youth and a five-step action plan for helping young people who are in crisis and non-crisis situations. Call the number mentioned above to learn when the next series is offered.

Peer relationships – Students who feel alienated from those around them are in pain. One classroom practice designed to help them is “Circles.” A heartwarming example of its success comes from Lawrenceburg Public School, where students in one classroom are asked to rank their morning (from waking to arriving at school) from 1 to 10.

On the second day, “The students went around sharing their rankings,” the teacher said. “Everyone had a really high ranking except for a couple of children. We talked about ways to help someone who had a rough morning, how we are a family, and that we should try to turn someone’s day around with positive words of encouragement.

“We finished up and were moving back to our tables when D, a boy dealing with a lot in his life, looked at me and said, ‘You know what we just did right there, that Circle thing? Well, it was good for my heart this morning. It helped my soul. I feel a lot better now.’”

The following day, C and J reported a 2 and 4, respectively. C said her mom wanted her to change schools; J didn’t explain. Then D spoke up. “My ranking is a 10 this morning but I want to say something to you, C.  I’m sorry your ranking is a 2 and I hope your mom doesn’t move you anywhere and that your ranking goes up.” He told J, “I don’t know why you are a 4 today, but I am here for you, man, and I hope your ranking gets better today.”

Restorative practices – Schools are encouraged to take a restorative approach to correcting children’s behavior. This holds students accountable, but does not alienate them from their peers or adults at school. A situation used as an example allowed students to describe to a classmate how her behavior was affecting them. She reacted by apologizing, and that allowed friendships to form.

A new initiative has students who are suspended from school spending those days at the system’s Achievement Academy (formerly Alternative School), rather than at home.  Stepping Stones is a new Academy program designed for children in grades K-5. Programming for all students is restorative and trauma-informed.

Trauma-informed schools – Every Lawrence County School is in the process of learning about Adverse Childhood Experiences and their effects. ACEs are traumatic events including neglect and abuse that can change a child’s developing brain. As a result children have difficulty being empathetic, coping with stress, and making decisions, and are at high risk to develop addictions and self-harm.

Relationships with adults - Studies show students with just one positive role model can overcome issues that might otherwise overwhelm them. The AWARE program works to build relationships between adults and students at all our schools and one-on-one connections at the Achievement Academy.

Our community is also very active in addressing the social/emotional needs of our students. Separate from the school system but part of our community’s effort is the IAM4Kids mentoring program which pairs an adult from the community (who has undergone an extensive background check and training) with a student who needs a little extra support. Male and female mentors are needed for students of every age. To learn more, go to IAM4Kidsmentoring.org.

Another component of AWARE helps students in need get medical, dental, and vision services, or items like clothing and shoes. Low-income students, however, do not make up the majority of students receiving other AWARE services. “Referrals come from across the board economically,” Abercrombie said.

What can you as a parent, grandparent, or “significant other” in the life of a child do to help? Spend time with them. Support them. Listen. Allow them to be challenged, but protect them from situations and people who create unnecessary stress in their lives. Shield them from adult problems. But know that anyone, even your child, can have problems that are outside your ability to address. Know that help is available, and you can help them get it.





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