Collaboration with Local Agencies
By Lawrence Fernandez, Safety and Security Manager
RADKIDS (Resist Aggression Defensively Kids) in collaboration with Madera Unified School District and Madera County Probation Department has and will continue to work together with School Safety Officers and Probation Officers to educate students of Madera Unified School District on the ABCs of child victimization that includes: Abduction, Bullying, Child Abuse and Neglect. We are very thankful and appreciative of this collaboration.
Safety Officers and Probation Officers explain how students are learning from the program. Students learn that they are all important, and that, if they have concerns, that we wish to empower and teach them how to best and most effectively voice their concerns. They’re taught about safety in the home, outside the home, gun safety, phone safety, internet safety, how to dial 911 and what to say to the operator, the difference between an emergency and how to ask for help. Students are also taught that “bad people” are not the only ones that can hurt them, and about personal touch, personal space, and personal boundaries. They are taught the difference between tattling. Safety Officers and Probation Officers also explained how students are taught the difference between “tattling” and “telling” to make sure the students clearly understand that tattling is telling on someone to get them in trouble, or to hurt them (a form of bullying), whereas telling is sharing critical information to help someone — including the person who is telling — out of trouble and away from credibly potential danger.
For the 2019/2020 school year, RadKids will expand to include four more schools that have not yet participated in RadKids.
Re-Direct Youth Diversion Program
Madera Unified School District and Madera County Probation Department partnered with Valley State Prison, approximately four years ago, to have students take part in the Valley State Prison Re-Direct Youth Diversion Program. The Re-Direct program is a one-day reality based program that shows at risk youth the realities of being incarcerated. Volunteer inmates of the Re-Direct program give the youth a close look at their past, the choices they had made and what they did or did not do to get prison. The focus of the program is to deter youth from choices they are making and, instead, instead encourage them to make the right choices and change the behaviors that get them into trouble.
Over the course of four years, hundreds of students from MUSD have participated in the program. Safety and Security Manager Lawrence Fernandez stated that he has seen changes in approximately six of ten students who have been through the program. These changes include: behavior, attitude, grades, participation in school, and who the students befriend. For example, a student who was on the verge of being expelled from school, due to his behavior, joined the program in 10th grade. After taking part in the program, his grades improved, he stopped hanging out with gang members, joined the football team, graduated from high school, and went onto college where he is currently in his second year. The student stated that the program contributed to a fundamental change in behavior and attitude.