Cameron Parish schools host mental health, social media workshops for students

Cameron School Safety Day

CAMERON, La. (KPLC) - It’s no secret that schools play a vital role in shaping our youth for success. However, to educate today’s students, schools have a lot more to compete with.

Educators in Cameron Parish decided to face that competition by taking students out of the classroom for an important discussion.

“Young people are faced with unforeseen dangers and need to be informed to make sound decisions,” said Vicki Little Grandlake Middle-High School Counselor.

As a school system, Cameron Parish School Board says it’s working diligently to keep children safe, Wednesday’s event represents a response to the many influences in young people’s lives that they deal with at school, in their community and their world.

Cameron Parish School Safety Day Discussion Topics:

Consequences of the Law—Cameron Parish District Attorney’s Office reviewed laws that young people could be charged with from their actions as citizens, drivers, and technology use.

Distracted Driving—Stutes & Lavergne’s Attorney Mr. Jody Lavergne helped young people realize their choices as drivers can be life-changing.

Self-Awareness—Cameron Parish Sheriff Officer Dwayne Rider helped students to learn safety in public places.

Dangers of Vaping—Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living—Kenyatta Royal informed students of electronic cigarettes’ effects on health.

Mental Health Issues—Sadness vs. Depression and Connecting in Healthy Relationships delivered for students to help with emotional stresses of daily life.

Digital Citizenship—Cameron Parish teachers presented topics of on being “Internet Awesome.”

As a school system, Cameron Parish School Board is working diligently to keep our children safe, and this event represents a response to the many influences in young people’s lives that they deal with at school, in their community and their world.

“It’s scary to see what kids my age and kids younger than me are getting into.”

Anna Savoie is an 11th-grader at Grand Lake High School, and for the most part, she’s always felt comfortable and safe on her campus. But with social media...she knows how quickly that could change.

“It’s very alarming how many school shootings there are and how many threats there are..even if you’re joking, it’s nothing to joke about especially in today’s society," said Savoie.

Savoie along with more than 400 students in Cameron took part in the district’s first School Safety Day. Seventh to twelfth-grade students from Hackberry, Johnson Bayou, Grand Lake, and South Cameron High Schools stepped out of the everyday classroom setting to talk about the challenges facing the average teen.

“We built our sessions around everything from mental health to distracted driving, building relationships, self- awareness...,” said Coordinator Vicki Little.

With a string of recent school threats and suicides, Little said they decided to center today’s conference around topics that students currently face, while also adding information about the potential consequences.

“Threat assessments are having to be done on a regular basis for children that are saying things, where they do not understand how serious it is," Little said. “Some of the concerns we have are the rising number of suicides among high and middle school students, and there’s such a rise in electronic cigarettes.”

For students like Anna, the sessions showed her that it's never to early to find your voice.

“You can’t please everyone, I realized that I have to step up and when I’m uncomfortable with doing something I have to say no and do what’s good for me,” Savoie said.

Also addressed were topics on bullying and having more counselors on hand. Little said they hope to make this an annual event.

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