SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Police Department is teaming up with three local school districts in an effort to better care for students affected by traumatic events.
Police Chief William McManus announced Wednesday the department's new Handle with Care program will begin this year's spring semester.
The pilot program will work with 47 schools; 28 with the San Antonio Independent School District, 11 with North East Independent School District, and eight with East Central Independent School District.
McManus said when police arrive at a scene where a child is present, they will later notify the child's school to "handle the student with care" by sending them a confidential message with the words, "Handle with Care."
School officials will not know the details of what happened to the child or what they witnessed but they will understand to be more sensitive to their needs. The message will also include the students' name, age, and the school.
"The more information we have, the more likely we'll be able to serve them with the right means of empathy and consideration. Because at the end of the day, it takes all of us," McManus said. "So this partnership is very encouraging for us."
After the pilot is completed, officials will later decide whether the program is a good fit for the community and to expand it to other school districts.