Dear Police Chief Bowers, Superintendent Booker, and members of the School Board and City Council,
A number of PADC representatives were able to attend the school board/city council meeting on April 22nd where the updated Tobacco Cessation Grant was presented. We feel that there are several aspects to this modified grant that more fully incorporate the concerns expressed by many members of the Piedmont community. Specifically, the updated grant application now includes:
- A more focused approach to problems facing our students around vaping and tobacco use, especially the hiring of health education consultants/experts
- The move to have the liaison officer as a point person offsite, rather than located at the schools
- More clearly defined restorative justice training in the schools
- More clearly defined targets found in the Healthy Students Survey.
In terms of next steps, several community members (including some PADC members) have indicated that they would appreciate being a part of the implementation/evaluation of the program, and thus we are requesting that community members be an active part of this process. The community’s interest and deep concern around this program should be addressed by providing some clear and concrete mechanism for community oversight and feedback over the 3 years of the grant, providing necessary transparency.
Overall, we appreciate that the School Board considered the concerns of the community, and that Chief Bowers and Superintendent Booker worked to incorporate these concerns into a plan that is more likely to achieve intended outcomes. We look forward to continuing to partner with the city and the schools to make sure our schools and community provide a safe and inclusive environment and a transparent process.
David Gard PADC Co-President
Tonda Case PADC Co-President
PADC Executive Board