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Town meeting on school safety planned

By George Greger-Holt
Posted Friday, March 17, 2006

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Silk Hope, NC - The Chatham Coalition for Alcohol and Drug Free Youth, in cooperation with Chatham County Schools and the Chatham County Sheriff's Department, is hosting a town hall meeting on school safety. The event will be held on Tuesday, March 28, at 7:00 p.m. at the Silk Hope School. A part of the national effort to curb underage drinking, the Federal Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking is sponsoring town hall style meetings all across the country.

“We are fortunate to be one of several community coalitions holding town hall meetings on this date. While most communities are concentrating on preventing underage drinking, we thought we would include other efforts that make our schools safe,” said Elizabeth Vickrey, Co-Chair of CCADFrY.

The Town Hall Meeting on School Safety: A Report to the Community, will include presentations by Captain Joe Birchett of the Chatham County Sheriff's Department on the School Resource Officer program; Michelle Dennis, counselor at Silk Hope School, on the school wide anti-bullying program; George Greger-Holt, Student Assistance/Safe Schools Counselor for Chatham County Schools, on the recently completed 2006 student Alcohol and Other Drug Survey and Elizabeth Vickrey, parent advocate for Chatham County Together on parent advocacy and child rearing strategies.

“This is an excellent opportunity for community members to hear about our activities in developing safer schools and get information that can help them guide their own children,” said Greger-Holt. “We chose Silk Hope School as the site, hoping it would be centrally located and accessible to all residents of our county,” he added.

In addition, several “teach-ins” will be held the following week to help students learn about the dangers of underage drinking.

“The Chatham Coalition for Alcohol and Drug Free Youth is working toward changing the culture of drinking among young people and is developing a community standard that asks parents and other adults to discourage underage drinking as well,” said Vickrey.

“This Town Hall Meeting is one of many we hope to have in the future to provide information and create support for parents in our community,” concluded Greger-Holt.

Vickrey can be reached at 548-2488 or or Greger-Holt at 542-3626 or

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