Authorities in Raleigh County use magic and puppets to teach students to stay safe

Local - 3/14/2014 1:20 PM by Karen Franklin
LESTER - Authorities in Raleigh County are using magic and puppets to teach young students how to stay safe in the modern world.

Mike Eakins, better known as Patrolman Phil, and his duck, Lucky, teamed up at Lester Elementary School Friday for a talk about avoiding danger.

Among the topics were internet safety, staying away from strangers and the role of police officers. Following tradgedies like that in Newtown, Patrolman Phil wants students to know their school is a safe place to be.

"The earlier we talk to them, the better they learn, and the more they keep it, and that way when they get older, they don't see the police as someone who's coming to arrest them because they didn't eat dinner, but somebody who's there to help them when they need," Eakins said.

Authorities told Newswatch that most of the time kids don't realize they're learning.

"Tell teachers if somebody is like knocking on the door -- or grownups, and let grownups know if something comes up on the internet," second grader Elijah Redfern said.

The safety course is sponsored by the Beckley Police Department. All Raleigh County students also get grade-specific books to take home. Eakins works with Creative Safety Products.

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