LIMA — Delphos Jefferson hosted Aware Fair Friday, a first for Jefferson High School Students and students at Delphos St. John’s High School.
“The Aware Fair is all about bringing our community together to try and address some of the social concerns we have for our youth and find a way to collaborate. Delphos is unique having two separate schools but we share the same social issues,” said Chad Brinkman, principal of Delphos Jefferson High School.
“I think it’s a pretty great way to get the community around and have the two schools combined for a good day to learn about how to spread awareness,” said Keaton Jackson, a sophomore at Delphos St. John’s High School.
So what led to the formation of the Aware Fair?
“The school shooting [in Parkland, Florida]. We’ve had suicides, social media [concerns]. Last year we had bad luck with suicides. Delphos Jefferson lost four students from the year before, who graduated last year and Delphos St. John’s lost one to suicide,” Brinkman said.
Topics included anything from suicide prevention to the adverse effects of driving under the influence.
“Local community members got together and said what can we do? So they got together and they invited all these people in,” he said.
Around 40 different agencies and groups were brought in for the Aware Fair, held mainly in the Delphos Jefferson High School gymnasium.
The event also included a number of motivational speakers.
“We have three speakers talking about family dynamics and how to deal with social media and as a teen how to be prepared for what’s facing you for the future,” Brinkman added.
When Brinkman was growing up, social media didn’t exist and the threats came directly from someone.
“Then, it was the boy was going to meet you before or after school and get your lunch money. Now it’s 24/7. Bullies are pestering you on the phone. They can hide now. Snapchat is a big thing where they can Snapchat something. It’s gone in 24 hours so it’s hard to even enforce as an administrator to stop some of this,” he said.
Delphos Jefferson, so far, has been immune to school threats.
“We have not had that issue,” Brinkman said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.