Virginia 6th Graders in Junior Special Agents Program
The Junior Special Agent Program—one component of the Bureau’s Adopt-A-School Program—aims to give 5th- and 6th-graders in disadvantaged neighborhoods the information, skills, and discipline they need to stay away from gangs, drugs, and crime.
Students: I accept the position of Junior Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Special Agent Robert Woodson: I call it FBI 101. I talk about core values. And the same core values that we have here in the FBI, whether you’re a professional staff or whether you’re a special agent. And I tell the students that integrity, leadership, those are our core values here in the FBI and you should lead your life that way.
Students: … and practicing non-violent behavior in handling difficult situations.
Paul Adams: It’s an outstanding program which teaches staying in school, doing the right thing, and believing in yourself that no matter where you come from or what your background is, you too can succeed.
Woodson: This is a very bright group, because I’ve heard some of your answers, some of your responses. I think we’ve established that pretty much the majority of you have a portable electronic device, correct?
If you post a picture in front of the Bucknell sign with your name, with your true name, would that be a problem?
Student: Yeah. They know what’s your name.
Woodson: OK. They know your name. They know what school you attend. What else? Right here.
Student: I’ve learned a lot of possibilities that could occur to someone when they’re growing up to high school and middle school. When people go smoke, do alcohol, drugs and all that, which taught me to keep away from them.
Student: I think one of the benefits is now we are able to know, to make sure you don't take pictures in front of landmarks and things like that that would expose you to the Internet and kind of prevent predators from knowing too much about you.
Because I’ve given you enough in the past five minutes to just have some basic simple rules in place, to what we call police yourself.
Nisreen Daoud: I think for some of them it gives them a voice that they don't always use in the classroom. I know, at least in today’s lesson, we hade a couple of the same kids constantly answering questions. But for some of the other ones it provides them an avenue to ask questions that they don't always feel comfortable asking us.
I feel like some of the topics we’ve discussed or that they talk about aren’t ones that we necessarily talk about in school on a normal basis, whereas he kind of sheds light on them and the program sheds light on them.
The Internet safety one; we kind of touched base on it a little in school and our counselor will touch base on it, but nothing as in-depth as his lesson.
Woodson: I told you before, after you post the image it’s always there. Just because you delete it from your account, or delete your account, what’s left? I told you all last time.
Woodson: The pictures are deleted, but there’s still a trace of those pictures. And after it’s online you can never really delete it.
Just keep that in mind.
Protect your personal information.
Adams: When they become seniors we have a little questionnaire that we ask them to fill out. And the first question is along the lines of “is there anything about 6th grade that stands out?” And in every single answer, the FBI is brought up, if nothing more the great field trips.
But many of them go beyond just the great field trips to say that it taught them self-esteem, courage to stand up to bullies, to stand up to negative behavior, and to realize that there is another path in life than just one of negativity.
Woodson: Many of the students have preconceived notions of law enforcement because maybe they’ve witnessed—and I’ve learned this over the past three years—they’ve witnessed their parents and/or loved ones, people that they know being arrested.
So coming in, speaking to them, and trying to educate them I think goes a long way to maybe change those impressions of law enforcement.
If they can take one thing that they learned from this one year of exposure: to do the right thing, to make the right choices, and to be leaders in their community. Break down some of the barriers.
We want them to trust law enforcement and to be good citizens and to be good ambassadors.
My time is up, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks you very much.
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