Students at Ryan Gloyer Middle School (RGMS) are not only getting lessons in the classroom but lessons in life with the help of Seneca Valley’s school resource officers (SROs) Officer Chris Pipkin and Officer Chris Miller.
Officer Pipkin and Officer Miller have teamed up with RGMS Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, Kayla Robinson, to co-teach her Personal Development class on topics related to the Character and Child Development Units. Through these classes, students are learning about stress management, communication, teamwork and important lifesaving skills.
“I am extremely thankful for Officer Pipkin and Officer Miller’s immediate willingness to come into the classroom. The students get very excited when they know our guest speakers will be showing up because it gives them the opportunity to interact with the SROs in a positive manner,” said Robinson. “We always promote building a rapport with our students, so this has been an amazing experience to improve on that while also giving the officers a chance to speak on valuable topics.”
The officers teach students what to do in an emergency, then practice various ways certain situations could be handled. Students have learned first aid skills like the Heimlich maneuver, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and even how to apply a tourniquet.
“Working with Ms. Robinson and talking with her students about the importance of safety has been fun and necessary,” said Officer Pipkin. “We must practice safety measures at all times because we never know the minute, hour or day when a dangerous situation will come upon us.
“I told the kids that no matter how aware and diligent they may be as far as practicing safety, there may come a day when they may have to exercise lifesaving measures to a stranger, a friend or a loved one,” said Officer Pipkin.
Officer Miller has also been working with Angela Kotula, RGMS librarian, as she teaches digital citizenship lessons for both seventh and eighth graders.
“Together, we cover a variety of topics including digital footprints, how words and actions matter, and in January, we will be discussing the dangers of online predators with our eighth graders,” said Kotula. “Having Officer Miller co-teach these lessons with me helps the students understand the seriousness of the digital world, and they are provided with the opportunity to make personal connections with our school and community law enforcement officers.”
“The digital citizenship lessons gave me a chance to speak with the students in a classroom setting and give real examples of how irresponsible social media use can impact the students’ lives socially and legally,” said Officer Miller.
Seneca Valley has a total of three SROs on the 7-12 secondary campus who are highly trained and certified police officers with the Jackson Township Police Department. These officers work closely with administration to assist with its security needs and have developed an excellent rapport with staff and students. They also work with students to encourage positive and productive behavior.