Martin steps up to help Rector students
Sixth grade students at Rector Elementary School are receiving special assistance as they go through the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. With Clay County not currently having a DARE officer, local law enforcement agencies were looking for an answer to helping the young students make positive, healthy choices in their lives.
Lt. Shane Martin, student resource officer for the Marmaduke School District and a member of the Marmaduke Police Department, was contacted by Corning resource officer Luke Lang and Clay County Sheriff Gerald McClung about filling the need for the Rector DARE class. Martin was willing to help out, but needed to go through the proper channels.
"I had to get it okayed with the Marmaduke school and the police department, then verify everything with the sheriff's department and the Rector school," Martin said. "It was really an example of working together. The (Marmaduke) school could have easily said, 'No, we need you here,' and that would have been that. But, they know how important this program is and allowed me to come to Rector. This is all about teamwork."
Martin had wrapped up his DARE classes at Marmaduke prior to the holidays and was able to work the weekly classes at Rector into his schedule.
"Working with kids and helping them make smart choices that are going to help keep them safe and live better lives is why I do what I do," Martin said. "That's why I wanted to be in law enforcement."
Martin has been in law enforcement since 1995. He joined the Marmaduke School District as its student resource officer in 2004.
"Working with the students can be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world," Martin said. "When you see these kids make the right choices and go on to make their own lives, it's just amazing."
At Rector, Martin is working with sixth graders in an effort to promote a life without the influence of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. During the eight-week program, students take part in fun, memorable activities centered around identifying the ill effects of substance abuse. Students are encouraged to ask questions in class, while also having the option of submitting anonymous questions via the colorfully crafted DARE boxes created by the class.
"When these kids are put in a situation where they're offered drugs or alcohol, if it's later in life or even now, they'll have that information to draw on and make informed choices," Martin said. "If something that I've said or something that we've gone over in class helps just one of these kids, then we've accomplished something great together."