Building an effective partnership between the Discovery College community and the police is one way in which we can support our students in making positive choices to keep safe.
On Monday 21 June, we held focus group discussions between our Secondary Student Ambassadors and representatives from the Islands District police, Simon Southgate and Frankie Lo. These discussions were held in age-specific focus groups, consisting of some key information being shared by Simon and Frankie as well as extended question and answer sessions.
Here are some of the student reflections from these discussions:
During the talk with the police we learned many things about kids our age and a bit older and how they can get into trouble easily, and how the police are dealing with it and how we can help make sure our friends don’t get involved. Some of these things included drug use, like smoking vapes. We also talked about the fine line between breaking the law and just being naughty. For example, if you do graffiti on the ground or pole, this is illegal. You could also get arrested for doing things like taking out security cameras by cutting the wires. We were also talking about shoplifting and how to prevent it and/or if you are around your friends and they are doing it, what you can do to avoid peer pressure and not get involved. We also talked about the importance of reporting this to the police, teachers or a trusted adult as these are very important issues.
In our recent discussion with the police department, we talked about a variety of concerns, problems and obstacles going on in our age group. We talked about the core of the problem and how peer pressure is affecting teenagers in criminal acts such as graffiti, trafficking, drug use and vaping. Another key highlight from the talk was shoplifting. Shoplifting often happens with teenagers around our age who don’t realise what a big offence it could be, and how much it could affect their futures. We then discussed the major difference between having fun and breaking the law. But at the end, it is important to speak up. If you do see unsafe activity done by peers or people you know, there is always a safe place in your school, family or community who will help try to fix the problem.
Year 9 and 10
During the police talk we talked mainly about drug use. We talked about what worked and what didn’t work during the previous drug talk we got as a whole year last year. We then came up with ways to make the talk more useful and engaging for people in our year. We talked about emphasising the consequences instead of mentioning the fact that you can get off with a warning in certain situations because then people will not genuinely feel remorse and they will just pretend that they do so that they don’t get punished. We also talked about the importance of keeping safe in social gatherings because you never know what might happen. We talked about certain cases where people our age have been caught using drugs and we talked about the health problems drugs and alcohol will cause.
Next academic year, we will continue to build our approaches to engaging students with the issues being raised through these discussions, and continue to work with the police so that we can create an environment where our students can flourish.
A big thank you to Simon and Frankie for their ongoing commitment to supporting our community. I would also like to thank the Student Ambassadors for demonstrating great leadership skills and representing Discovery College in an exemplary manner.