HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. – Students at a Hamilton County middle school were recently rewarded with a new hang-out space provided by their school resource officer.
Jonathan Tindal, a Hamilton County sheriff’s deputy and the school resource officer at Hamilton Heights Middle School, said he noticed an empty storage room near the cafeteria and decided to transform it into a new space for students.
The officer began raising funds for the project and with the help of his family and volunteers, Tindal’s vision came to life. He introduced the Dawg Pound – a cellphone-free space packed with games – to students.
"I’m not as old as some people may think but I guess I’m old school and it was just getting on my nerves that these kids weren’t interacting,” said Tindal. “I'd literally see them after school waiting for practice to start talking to each other through a text message and they are sitting right next to each other."
He said the room acts as an incentive for students to work hard during the school day.
The officer said he wasn’t sure how the students would react to their new space - being that they’d be cellphone free – but he said he got emotional seeing how well it went from the very first day.
“I had complete 100 percent interaction from that group of kids that came in there…they all meshed right together. Everybody was laughing interacting and carrying on,” he said.