Communication is key. It's an adage that applies to almost everything in life, and it applies to how to deal with children after they experience a traumatic event at home.

The Plymouth County District Attorney's Office announced today that it will be expanding its "Handle With Care" initiative. D.A. Tim Cruz said that Marion will now be recognized as a Handle With Care community.

What does this mean for children who go to school in Marion and the Tri-Town? It means a higher level of communication between the police and the school system. The Marion Police Department will identify children at the scene, find out where they go to school, and send a message to the superintendent's office that says the child is a "handle with care."

Very often, teachers struggle to understand why a student might be off of their game. A student that is normally very attentive might be doing more daydreaming in class. A student who rarely gets in trouble might act out a bit, or a student that already has behavioral issues may display more serious issues or even defiance.

These occurrences can be better dealt with when teachers, counselors, and administration are all armed with as much relevant information as possible. If a child has experienced a traumatic event like witnessing domestic abuse or a serious health problem of a parent over the weekend, having that information on hand can be a game-changer for all involved.

ORR principal Mike Devoll said Handle With Care is a partnership that the school has had with Mattapoisett Police for some time, and he was happy to see the program getting expanded to include students that live in Marion.

"We are proud to have such strong community partnerships," Devoll said. "The Handle With Care program allows us to help our students and families with support, empathy and available school resources."

The program will also be extended to Marion students at Old Rochester Regional Junior High and Sippican School.

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