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Dads Keep Halls Safe at Cook Elementary

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Dads, grandpas, and uncles volunteer their time at Cook Elementary School in an effort to keep children safe.

Parent John Slaughter checked in visitors at the school Thursday afternoon.

“I usually volunteer once a month and take a day off from work and come down and spend the day at the school,” he said.

The men call themselves the Watch D.O.G.S. or dads of great students. They are men who want to make the school feel safer.

“It's important just to have a presence at the school,” said Slaughter.

The guys help out in classrooms and the office. They patrol the hallways and parking lot.

“Having an adult male presence outside the building and then inside the building once we start makes kids just feel a little bit better, especially the ones who are here a lot,” said Principal Bill Spicer. “They really get to know them well.”

Spicer says they started the WATCH D.O.G.S. program at Cook Elementary about three years ago and already have around 15 men who volunteer their time.

Spicer says the dads have been through background checks and training sessions. “The main thing is they make it a safer environment for all of us,” he said.

Slaughter calls it “watch doggin’.” He says the kids recognize the shirt and know he is there to help.

“I don't know that you could ever predict or stop something, but I'm hoping that just with a presence here can always be a deterrent,” said Slaughter.

The school says they have a watch dog volunteer on duty just about every day.