Deputy Visits Head Start Classroom

posted 4/8/18 -- Mother Theresa once said “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

It is that attitude that motivated Lorain County Sheriff Deputy Sujeiry Coll to visit LCCAA Head Start Hopkins-Locke in Lorain. It was a typical morning in the classroom, filled with education songs, laughter, and, of course, a little dancing.

Then, in a flash, the heads of the children turned toward the door. It was at that time, a tall figure entered the classroom. The figure was dressed in a perfectly maintained uniform. It was a Deputy from the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department. The Deputy removed a distinctive hat and continued into the classroom.

It was at this moment, one of the children said to another child in a matter of fact way, “she’s a girl police.” The Deputy took her hat from under her arm, set it on a table, and replaced it with a children’s book titled “Safety Promise.” She then strolled over to where the children were sitting, as the kids looked on in awe, Deputy Coll walked through the sea of amazement and sat down on the floor with the children.

The Deputy began to read from the book; and before anyone realized what was happening, Deputy Coll was surrounded by pony tails, pigtails and hair bows. Because, all the little girls rushed to the front to be near the female Deputy that came to visit and read with them.

The book “Safety Promise” covered quite a few topics including firearm safety and what the children should do if they ever find a gun: tell a trusted adult. Deputy Coll then quizzed the children “who are some trusted adults?” And in a roar of excitement the words “teachers”, “police”, “moms”, “dads” were shouted by students. “Good,” said the Deputy. She continued: “Aunts and Uncles are safe adults too, unless you have that one uncle that is always getting into trouble,” she said with a laugh and a wink to the adults in the room.

The conversation between Deputy Coll and the children bounced all over the place from guns, to movies, to safe friends, to real life versus not real life. They even discussed safety and health. However, the most important influence Deputy Coll seemed to have had nothing to do with the topics she was discussing. Her largest influence was simply just being a woman in uniform and a role model to the young ladies in the room.

“I didn’t even notice (at first), but it is really nice to see the pictures” Deputy Coll recalled.

Though the deputy covered many issues, each as important as the previous, the issue that stuck with everyone in the room, both children and adults, was the idea that anyone can be a leader and gender does not have to be a barrier.

Deputy Coll cast a stone, and all the little boys and girls in the room, will be the ripples that go out and make our community a better place.