BUCKHANNON — Buckhannon-Upshur High School’s Prevention Resource Officer Rocky Hebb accepted an Upshur Star Award and presented a comprehensive report at the Upshur County Board of Education Tuesday evening. A somewhat alarming part of Hebb’s report included that approximately two and a half months into the 2019-2020 school year, he has already completed eight juvenile court petitions on behalf of the school.
Hebb elaborated about the petitions and stated, “Four of which were fighting related, two were drug related, and the other two were related to the unfortunate threats toward the school about one month ago.” The PRO Officer also reported that he has documented approximately 50 incidents with vapes. “Crazy out of hand with that stuff,” commented Hebb.
Hebb explained, “We are trying to be aggressive and pro-active with that stuff.” He continued, “The staff here at the high school, the administration, and the Sheriff’s Office are all trying to be diligent in trying to deter that.” Hebb asserted that this starts at home, but said they are trying to deter the items from coming into the school.
On a positive note, Hebb reported it has been an overall good start to the school year. “It is going to be a great year, but it has been a busy one,” he stated. Hebb noted that he has been dividing his time between working at B-UHS and Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School since PRO Officer CJ Day took another position and is no longer at the middle school.
Hebb also commented about the use of cellular devices on school grounds. “I believe, and this is just my opinion, but I believe a lot of people’s opinions line up with mine. Most of your problems lie within these things right here,” Hebb emphatically proclaimed as he displayed a cell phone in his hand.
Hebb continued, “If you guys can come up with a way, and it will be a challenge, but if you want to better the schools, keep the cell phones out of the schools and provide the kids with a way for the education to compensate that and fill that gap. Not letting the phones in the school, you’re going to eliminate probably over 50 percent of the problems, and that is just my opinion. Huge hurdle, but well worth it if you take on that challenge.”
Hebb explained that cell phones were meant for good, but have turned out for the bad in so many ways. He indicated that children undergo so much unnecessary stress from social media via the use of cellular phones and they have no break from it because it is so accessible on the handheld devices. “Our business here is education and that is what they need. They need safety, they need education, and that is what we ought to try to provide to the best of our ability and those phones are a deterrent,” added Hebb.
Hebb also requested an executive session with the BOE Tuesday evening to discuss the purchase of his K-9 Officer, Buck. Hebb has accepted a position with another law enforcement agency, per his report to the BOE, and wanted the opportunity to privately talk to the board about buying the dog since he has trained and bonded with Buck since the beginning.