Handle With Care program launches in Albany

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A new partnership between Albany Police and the city school district aims at helping students struggling with trauma outside the classroom.

Albany Police will now identify kids at the scene of a traumatic incident to give their schools a heads up, send them a note, and ask that they be handled with some extra care.

Witnessing traumatic experiences, the arrest of a loved one or a house fire can have a huge impact on a student’s behavior in the classroom.

“A child’s ability to focus at school and their ability to learn and behave appropriately,” Albany City School District Superintendent Kaweeda Adams said.

Adams says until now, school staff had no way of knowing if a child’s actions may have been the result of trauma and a new program will bridge the gap.

“One of the strategic goals that the Albany Police Department has is winning over a generation,” Albany Police Deputy Chief Robert Sears said.

Sears says his officers will now seek out children at every scene they respond to find out what school they go to and then send an email to the school that says the child’s name but keeps any details of the incident private.

“Information would be shared with previously designated staff so that they can be on the lookout for things that may be abnormal in the child’s behavior,” Adams said.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan hopes that this gives teachers valuable insight into a student’s life outside the classroom so kids can get the help they need, and maybe a little leeway.

“When that child isn’t necessarily concentrating on their math lesson, there’s an understanding as to why,” Sheehan said.

This program officially goes into effect on Monday and Albany Police say they expect dozens of students per week to be affected.

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