Sheriff’s deputies honored for helping keep schools safe

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 30, 1999

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / August 30, 1999

LULING – Twelve sheriff’s deputies were recognized and honored for their work in the Safe Schools Program by the St. Charles School BoardWednesday.

Five years ago, the school board joined with the 29th Judicial District Judges and District Attorney and the St. Charles Sheriff’s Department tocurtail violence in the schools.

Associate Superintendent Carolyn Woods and Lt. Pam Negrotto presentedsix resource officers, four DARE officers and two court school officers copies of a resolution declaring the continued future support of the program.

Woods explained that school violence were seen as being on the increase in the years up to 1994. In the 1993-94 school term there were 39 acts ofviolence at Destrehan High and 32 at Hahnville High.

With the program’s implementation, fights at Destrehan were slashed to 15 in the 1998-99 school term and were down to 24 at Hahnville High.

The program was expanded into the middle schools and fights were slashed 81 percent at Cammon, 65 percent at Hurst, 50 percent at Landry and 61 percent at J.B. Martin.Overall, Woods said, violence has been cut 70 percent since the program began.

“We’re not just playing catch-up here,” Sheriff Greg Champagne said.

“There are places around the country copying our program.”Woods added, “There’s a difference in attitude now.”Judges Robert Chaisson and Emile St. Pierre also attended the program,with Judge Kirk Granier and District Attorney Harry Morel unable to attend.

Resource officers honored include Sgt. Warren LeBeauf, Cpl. Jimmy RobertJr., Cpl. Clyde Taylor, Deputy Steven Amedee, Deputy James Hebert andDeputy Mark Smith.

DARE officers honored included Lt. Dwayne LaGrange, Sgt. Ardine Boyd, Cpl.Burley McCarter and Deputy Danny Moran.

Court school officers honored included Cpl. Kenny Gagliano and DeputyKevin Doyle. Upper management at the sheriff’s office were also honoredfor their continued support, including Chief Joseph Cardella and Capt.

Patrick Yoes.

In other matters, the school board approved a $10,000 study of student population growth with South Central Planning and Development.

The job tasks include to update the 1997 strategic plan by reviewing school enrollment, national and local population trends, economic development data, local residential development and birth rates. Also,South Central Planning is to determine the impact of this updated information on local schools and to provide maps with anticipated development areas.

The study results should be ready in three months.

The board also approved advertising for bids for roof repairs at Norco Elementary from the recent tornado. More than $100,000 in repairs havealready been done.

Superintendent Dr. Rodney Lafon reported opening of school wentsmoothly, thanks to much planning and work done prior to the date of school opening. The total enrollment was given as 9,963, 222 studentsless than were enrolled Oct. 1, 1998.However, Lafon added, 302 more students have already been added since opening day, and he anticipates still more before the final report must be made to the state Department of Education.

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