Berkley Springs, W.Va A new program known as “handle with care” has been instituted in Morgan County where Deputy Kevin Barney a 15 year veteran officer of the Morgan County Sheriff’s office is making a difference for the kids of the schools.
In any event where Police respond to any incident within the district that Barney works as a school resource officer he is notified immediately that a child was in the residence where officers were called. His duty is then to act as a liaison on behalf of the child to the school to notify teachers and the principal that the child may be going through some rough time at home and to pay extra attention to that child and be aware of the child’s needs.
“They call me, and I tell the principal and teachers to be aware that these students are coming in, that they might be upset, tired or aggressive from dealing with what happened at home,” Barney told HeraldMedia. “They need to be cut a little break, and given time to move on from their problems at home and go back to learning again.”
Barney said children also can be traumatized when emergency-services personnel come to their homes for medical emergencies.
“They’re not bad students. They’re just dealing with some trauma,” said Kristin Tuttle, assistant superintendent of Morgan County Schools.
“Deputy Barney (is) the connecting piece that ties the two entities together — the family and the school,” Tuttle said of the Handle With Care program. “We have a great network of individuals, and we try to be sensitive to the needs of our students.”
So far the Deputies services have been used six times inthis way. Otherwise it is business as usual for teh Deputy being in the school for normal activities as a school resource officer. Including, high fives, handshakes, sit down talks, one on one’s, lunches to connect with kids about their daily problems, a hug or two when it is needed and some pats on the back for self esteem.