"Montclair police officers combat violence, drugs and alcohol with lessons for students", this is the title of an article on Tapinto.net dated on March 21.

I am wondering what can a police officer, who is not trained in mental health, who is not a therapist, not specialized in addiction treatment, teach middle school kids about violence, drugs and alcohol? I believe it is fundamental that topics such as violence, drugs and alcohol (and human trafficking) are present in students' curriculum, although I believe that the person who teaches about that should come from the mental health sector, not law enforcement.

We need to talk about these topics from a mental health/public health perspective. Law enforcement officers are not qualified to teach about these topics no matter how many hours of training on mental health they have received. They are not qualified. We already have qualified staff in the schools and we can definitely rely on mental health professionals in the community as well.

Maria Eva Dorigo

Editor's note: MontclairLocal.news ran a similar announcement to the piece referenced above, on March 20. Items in Montclair's announcement section are reviewed by Montclair Local, and may be edited for grammar, style, presentation or accuracy, but are not original reporting by Montclair Local staff.

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