ANDERSON — Acting out in school may not be cause for punishment but may be a sign of trauma.

In such cases, school officials are advised to handle such students with care. That’s the gist of the national program to be implemented in Madison County schools during the 2024-25 school year.

The program will be overseen by Madison County Health Department and Intersect Inc.

So far Anderson, Elwood and Liberty Christian have expressed interest as of Thursday, however, they hope to have buy-in from all county schools, said Sarah Neal, school liaison for Madison County Health Department.

During a Tuesday meeting at the health department, Neal used an abusive situation as to describe how the program would work.

Police, if called, would show up, and arrest the alleged perpetrator. In doing so, they would identify the child or children in the home. Police would then notify the child’s teacher to “handle with care.”

Other first responders can participate as well, Neal said Thursday. They will scan a QR code of send the child’s name and the “Handle with Care,” message to the child’s teacher.

Such care could come in the form of a solid meal, clean outfit or any other gesture that could show the child they are cared for, according to an article from the Greenfield Daily Reporter.

Public Schools in Hancock County implemented the program in October 2022.

No details about the incident will be mentioned, according to the United States Office for Victims of Crime.

This would allow the teacher to adjust their approach to ensure the student is not traumatized once again.

Handle With Care was first implemented in 2013 in Charleston, West Virginia. It later expanded to include the rest of the state after which other states adopted the program, according to the United States Administration for Children & Families.
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