- Category: Schools
- Published on Wednesday, 02 May 2012 15:35
- Written by Gary Kopycinski
Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- What is a “green lockdown” at Forest Trail Middle School? eNews Park Forest received an email from a parent concerned after hearing the school went into lockdown Wednesday.
“My 8th grader came home from Forest Trail yesterday and said there had been a ‘green’ lockdown (all students confined to classrooms). We haven't received a robocall or anything informing us of what happened,” the reader said in the email.
Forest Trail Principal Carolyn Stroud said the school goes into “green” lockdown if something is happening in one of the hallways, and school officials determine that it’s best to keep the hallways clear. Such was the case Wednesday when a staff member became ill and had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance, Dr. Stroud told eNews Park Forest.
“We don’t give a robocall for a green lockdown, we give a robocall just for a red lockdown,” principal Carolyn Stroud said. “When [a green lockdown] happens, we just ask students to stay in their rooms.”
An emergency situation would merit a “red” lockdown, Dr. Stroud said. In such cases, parents would be informed by robocall or letter, depending on the nature of the emergency.
“The green lockdown usually takes just a few minutes. While we don’t want the kids out of the classroom, it’s not safe,” Stroud said. When a student falls rollerblading, for example, or something happens where someone has to go to the hospital, a green lockdown keeps the halls clear, giving paramedics room to do their work.
Dr. Stroud added that neighbors likewise should not get concerned if seeing police vehicles parked near the school. “Police come once a month to raffle off a bike to the kids,” she said. Students who receive good grades, have no referrals, or demonstrate other positive behavior qualities are able to accumulate tickets for a chance on a bicycle each month.
Park Forest Police Chief Cliff Butz says officers visit all schools regularly. The bicycle raffles are part of the department's B.I.C.Y.C.L.E. program, an acronym for Better Involvement Concerning Young Children’s Learning Experience.
“We go to each school once a month. They have programs in place already to award students: perfect attendance, good grades,” Chief Butz said. He said Algonquin School has a program called “Cougar Cash,” where students accumulate “Cougar Cash dollars” for positive behavior and/or accomplishments. Students can then use the “Cougar Cash” to purchase things or put their cash into the raffle for a new bike.
“The winner gets a bike, a helmet, and a lock,” Chief Butz said. “We can buy bikes and give them to the schools. We’re at K-Mart buying bikes once a month. We’re in some school almost every day for something.”
“We’re not using tax dollars. The money is coming from narcotics funds that has to be used for law enforcement purposes or for programs that are related to law enforcement, anything to do with youth services qualifies, to reward them for positive behavior.”
Chief Butz said officers stop by schools for other reasons in order to develop a positive relationship with the students. Officers have been asked to judging science classes, for example, have been interviewed by students, attended “peace summits,” Halloween events, and more.
“It gets the policeman working the street face time with all of these kids,” the chief said. “Some of the guys stop and visit when they get a chance.”
According to literature on the B.I.C.Y.C.L.E. program supplied by the Park Forest police, the goal is to reward positive performance and behavior:
The Park Forest Police Department is making a renewed commitment to the young students who attend the eight public grade schools in our Village. Each of the schools has programs that promote proper behavior, courtesy, team play, good decision making, attendance and academic achievement as their core values. The Police Department wants to reward those students who achieve these high standards and are entering into a partnership with each school to do so.
Each month a student who has exhibited the core values, as set-out by their respective school, is rewarded with a raffle ticket from a nominating teacher. Starting in October and continuing monthly throughout the 2011-2012 school year, one winning ticket will be drawn at each of the eight schools. The winning students will be presented with a brand new bicycle courtesy of the Police Department and their school’s Principal.
The bicycles will all be purchased by the Park Forest Police through the Department’s Narcotics Asset Forfeiture Funds which were seized from local drug dealers through court proceedings.
The Village of Park Forest and the Police Department are committed to the youth of our community and hope to ride together into the future. Rewarding good behavior with a bicycle is a great start!