A professor of school psychology at Duquesne University is studying a Penn Hills project aimed at keeping children safe from violence, bullying, abuse and abduction.
The S.T.A.R. program, Stand Together! Act Responsibly!, is a safety program working with children in first through fifth grades, their parents, teachers and community to diffuse potentially dangerous or illegal situations.
Dr. Tammy Hughes, associate professor in the School of Education at Duquesne University, is examining the program, which will kick off in Penn Hills on Friday, Nov. 20, as a project that extends beyond the classroom into the community.
Hughes currently is evaluating the program’s effectiveness so that it may serve as a model. “This is a grassroots effort with an eye to making sure there is accountability for delivering the knowledge to school children, with the schools, the University and the community working together,” Hughes said.
The program, now in its second year, teaches children and parents about the different between “snitching” and “responsible reporting” of a potentially dangerous situation. Schools involved in the program maintain a responsible reporting system and chart the level of reporting and the incidence of violence. The community and local law enforcement also are involved.