JPS relaunches Watch D.O.G.S. program

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 10:37 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Watch D.O.G.S. program, which stands for “Dads of Great Students,” is bringing together fathers and men in the community.

Dozens of men with a desire to be role models for kids in the Jackson Public School District came together to brainstorm on Thursday.

“Just someone who provides a presence, just somebody to say that I care, you matter, and you are loved and there is hope,” said Joseph Pridgen.

“You have to put in the work and so that’s why I am here, and these other guys are here,” said Brent Strong.

The program is designed to add an extra layer of security and protection for young people.

It will also help prevent and de-escalate violence inside JPS Schools.

This comes after the school district saw several violent and criminal incidents at some Jackson schools over the past several weeks.

Micha Briggs, Jackson Public School’s Watch D.O.G.S. Coordinator says in times like these, it’s important that male figures are seen and prevalent.

“They don’t have to teach or be a teacher’s aid, but their physical presence alone is able to engage in de-escalation and conflict resolution that destroys bullying and acts of violence inside of schools. They are able to participate in a physical education program, music, or art class. When a student sees this grown man, singing like they sing, doing pushups, and running like they do, man! It inspires them,” stated Briggs.

Fathers who attended today’s session say they are hopeful this program will help students stay on right track to a positive future and educational success.

“Kids need some kind of positive role model, especially the males, for a hope of a future worth having,” Prigden said.

Briggs says any fathers or male figures who would like to be a part of this program, can apply through Jackson Public Schools website.

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