The Davis Police Department has a brand-new teen resource section on its website, all thanks to the leadership class at Da Vinci Junior High School.
Students there have been working for months to compile information and resources on six issues of concern to teens and their parents, including cyberbullying, substance abuse and sexting, and they got to see their hard work come to fruition on Thursday when the section went live.
Crime analyst Deanne Machado had formatted all of their information for the section and invited a handful of the students down to the police station Thursday when she took it live.
Accompanied by Da Vinci Principal Rody Boonchouy and Vice Principal Troy Reeves, the five students broke out in applause at the sight.
“This is super exciting,” said ninth-grader Hailey Levien.
Noted Reeves: “It’s always fun when we get to do something for real.”
The idea for the project started with police Officers Scott Allen — who has “adopted” Emerson and Da Vinci junior highs — and Michael Munoz. Previously, the Police Department’s website had only a “kids page” which was exactly that: coloring pages.
“There was nothing for teens,” explained Da Vinci seventh-grader Eli Weiss.
Allen and Munoz suggested that the students redesign the section to make it more relevant and provide more resources for preteens, teens and their parents.
The officers, along with Reeves, then came up with a list of issues that they saw as most likely to get in the way of the success and happiness of Davis teens: suicide, cyberbullying, self-harm, relationship violence, substance abuse and sexting.
The leadership class at Da Vinci then split up into teams focusing on individual issues, researching and talking to experts in the community in order to compile relevant information, including warning signs parents should be aware of, myths teens often believe and who to contact for help.
Once finished, they presented their work to Davis Police Chief Landy Black, members of his command staff and the department’s community advisory board.
After providing feedback and suggestions, Black commissioned the students to move forward and go live with their content, which after several more weeks of work, they did on Thursday.
Now the goal is to spread the word about it, students said.
All plan to provide the link on their own facebook pages and Boonchouy said Da Vinci’s Facebook page — which receives a lot of visits — will post a link as well. They are also working with the school district to get the link posted on the district’s website as well.
And though students have been working on this project much of the school year, said student Petra Favorite, they aren’t finished yet. In addition to monitoring the site and making any necessary changes, they are also considering approaching other police departments in the region about setting up their own teen resource pages.
Meanwhile, Spanish Immersion students Alyssa Alvarez and Ariel Axelrad-Hausman are translating everything so the website can include Spanish versions of all of the information.
Visit the Davis teen resource page at: http://cityofdavis.org/police/DaVinci%20High%20Teen%20Page.cfm.
— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at [email protected] or (530) 747-8051. Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy