Youth Protection Seminars to be Held in November

Emery School District Press Release

HUNTINGTON: The Emery School District is combining resources with local agencies for the annual Youth Protection Seminar which will cover a wide array of teen and adolescent topics. This year the school district is expanding the program to not only offer a seminar at Emery High on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 6 pm in the Spartan Center Little Theater, but to add a program at Green River High on Thursday, Nov. 9, at 6 pm in the auditorium. These programs are for students, parents, faculty and staff, and community members.

“We were very pleased with the participation in last year’s seminar,” Superintendent Larry W. Davis said. “The turnout was more than we had hoped for, and the presentations were so well done and relevant to today’s issues that we wanted to expand the program to Green River.” The superintendent explained that the program involves several presentations lasting about 15 minutes each with time for questions and comments from the audience.

Youth Protection Seminars are required by state law originating from HB 289 passed in 2013. The law requires school districts “to offer an annual seminar to parents with information on substance abuse, bullying, mental health, and internet safety.” Additional topics can be added at the discretion of the school district. “Issues facing our children are not always the same each year,” the superintendent said. “It is nice to have the option of adding presentations to our program that reflect the current needs of our students and their families.”

This year’s program will be similar to last year’s but with relevant updates and availability of more current data. The Emery High School Youth Coalition, under the direction of counselor Darline DeBry, will be presenting on the 2017 Student Health and Risk Prevention (SHARP) survey results from the last school year. That survey collects data from students in grades six, eight, ten and twelve on topics related to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use, safe schools, and home and school environment.

Emery District Supervisor of Student Services Ryan Maughan has been collaborating with Four Corners Behavioral Health on presentations on student mental health as well as recognition of child sexual abuse. A major topic of presentation regarding mental health will be on teenage suicide which will be discussed in relation to bullying and harassment, among other social behaviors. Jed Jensen, supervisor of secondary education, will discuss district bullying and hazing policies as well as strategies for preventing bully and dealing with it when it happens.

As part of a presentation on Internet Safety, Doug Johnson, supervisor of the Instructional Technology Department, will discuss ways to prevent cyber bullying and what students and parents should do when it takes place.

Ralph Worthen, supervisor of elementary education, will address the topic of substance abuse. He has invited members of the Emery County Sheriff’s Department to present on recent trends in drug abuse, including identification of abuse, harmful effects, and treatment programs.

Superintendent Davis said that “this will be a very informal event that will include conversations about issues our children face in our schools and in our communities on a regular basis. It is our hope that those who attend will leave with a better understanding of the challenges that exist in raising and educating a child.” He added that it is of primary importance that we combine our resources as a community in working to eradicate these barriers to a quality life for our children.

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