Law enforcement officials from the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Indiana State Police, and the Plainfield Police Department joined the Superintendent of the Plainfield Community School Corporation on Jan. 19 to address the online threats that have been made against Hendricks County communities since mid-December.
A near-capacity crowd was on-hand in the auditorium of Plainfield High School for the forum as hundreds of parents sought information and reassurance regarding an issue that has gripped the community.
I was one of those in attendance, and I'll do my best to summarize the forum as objectively as possible.
The Grinch stole Christmas from students in Plainfield and Danville schools on Dec. 17 when threats of violence were made toward both communities' high schools, resulting in both school corporations closing all of their schools on what would have been the final day of class before Christmas break.
You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch.
However, just like the Who's down in Whoville in Dr. Seuss' Christmas classic, we will prevail. Why? Because a situation like this one makes for an excellent teaching moment with OUR KIDS.
The Plainfield Community School Corporation and Into the Light Recovery hosted a community forum on October 28 called "Continuing the Conversation: Prevention, Action and Hope" which was about saving OUR KIDS from heroin and other drugs.
This was a perfectly-timed forum right on the heels of the Steered Straight, Inc. presentation in Danville last week that prompted me to write a blog post, alerting Villagers that we have a serious heroin problem in Hendricks County.
(On a side note, that blog post went "viral" -- at least by They're Our Kids standards -- garnering 9,412 unique page views as of this posting! Thank you SO MUCH, Villagers, for spreading the word about this incredibly important topic!)
After attending the "Continuing the Conversation" forum in Plainfield, I want to offer a few general impressions of the event, as well as highlight some of the things that especially caught my attention.
On October 20, Michael DeLeon from the not-for-profit Steered Straight, Inc. out of New Jersey came to Danville to discuss the drug epidemic that is sweeping our nation and leaving no stone -- or small community -- unturned in its wake.
During his 90-minute presentation to parents at West Bridge Church, Mr. DeLeon sought to bring awareness to the drug problem by way of his perspective as a recovering addict and violent felony offender who served more than a decade in prison in New Jersey.
Since I have 15 years of past experience as a probation officer -- 12 of those years were here in Hendricks County -- I want to reinforce some points that Mr. DeLeon made in his presentation and offer my own local perspective, lest his message be lost on those who dismiss it based on his criminal history or the fact that he doesn't live here.
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