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Rochester Public Schools and Rochester Police Department host community forum

Rochester, Minn. (FOX 47) – It’s a concern across the country. Ensuring kids safety – particularly in school – is a hot button issue for teens and parents alike.

In an effort to engage the community in an open conversation about some serious topics, Rochester Public Schools and the Rochester Police Department teamed up to work on solutions.

Rochester Police officers were ready for an honest talk about some of dangers kids face at school – especially when it comes to school threats, social media and vaping. The pair hosted a Family Engagement Night on Tuesday to do just that.

Being a prominent part in many teen’s lives, officers recommend parents inserting themselves into their child’s online sphere. They say that can mean having access to their personal accounts, or just being aware of their social media footprint.

RPD says a lot of the time, threats towards the school are from social media posts being blown out of proportion.

Vaping is also an issue many parents are interested in. In 2018, the FDA declared it an epidemic.

School Resource officer Greg Marx says despite it being illegal for anyone 18 and under, kids are using vape devices at school on a daily basis.

“Be involved with your kids, make sure you know what’s going on, Marx said. “And then, you have allies, you have people who are willing to reach out or be reached to, to kind of work out some of these things. If your kids, or any family members are going through something like this.”

RPS wants to continue to better educate parents and students about some of these dangers. That could mean introducing these topics to students a grade level earlier than they do now, which is currently sixth grade.

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Beret Leone

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