As part of our ongoing relationship with the Clarke County School District, the Athens-Clarke
County Police Department presented multiple gang-related education programs to district
administrators and students last week. Corporal Jerry Johnson spoke with two groups of school
administrators and was joined by School Resource Officer (SRO) T. Clark in ongoing workshops
to elementary and middle school students.
With school administrators, Johnson’s presentation included information on how gang
members groom young children and how to recognize gang-related behaviors and signs.
“Although the district has not seen an uptick in gang-specific issues, we know that what we see
in the community is reflected, to some degree, in school systems,” said Corporal Johnson.
“My presentation illustrated why young children are drawn to street gangs. I also provided
strategies to support these vulnerable students,” said Johnson
"We are grateful the ACCPD provided continuing education to our staff," states Dr. Dawn
Meyers, Chief of Policy and School Support Services. "The district will be better equipped to
manage the ever-changing challenges of gang-related issues and ensure the appropriate
measures are in place to keep our schools and students safe."
Corporal Johnson and SRO Clarke have been meeting with groups of students throughout this
school year using the G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) curriculum. The
primary intent of the program is to immunize students against delinquency, youth violence, and
gang membership. Johnson and Clarke’s class focused on providing life skills to students to help
them avoid delinquent behavior as well as using violence to help solve problems.