FAIRBORN — Fairborn Intermediate School fifth grade student Jessica Cleaves “saw something” and “said something” and was awarded for her actions May 23 along with other students during the school’s annual fifth grade awards ceremony.
Cleaves, who serves as a safety patrol officer for the AAA School Safety Patrol program, was on her way to school one day when she spotted another student showing off empty shell casings. She was off duty from her safety patrol post at that time, but what she saw didn’t sit well with her. She took action by alerting school officials, who got down to business and figured out what was happening.
“I [thought] ‘should I do this or should I not?’” Cleaves said. “So I decided I would. I just feel surprised (being honored).”
Barb Needles, Fairborn Intermediate School counselor and safety patrol advisor, said Cleaves set an example for other students. They acknowledged that the empty shell casings couldn’t necessarily hurt anyone, but said items of those kind don’t belong on school grounds.
“Jessica did the right thing and we are very proud of her,” Needles said. “She set a good example for other students that when they see something to tell someone.”
AAA Public Affairs Manager Cindy Antrican highlighted that the AAA School Safety Patrol program is celebrating its 97 year in 2017. It is aimed at teaching fourth, fifth and sixth grade students responsibility and leadership roles.
“One of the key components of that program is teaching them service to others and volunteerism within their own community,” Antrican said. ” … She modeled what we teach — if you see something, say something.”
Antrican added that Cleaves was the only student this year to receive an award of that kind across the hundreds of AAA School Safety Patrol program participants within the Miami Valley.
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.