JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro police officer and a local school district have teamed up to support law enforcement and special education.
JPD Corporal John Shipman recently approached Valley View Schools to see if they wanted to sell "Back the Blue" t-shirts as a fundraising effort.
"Almost every year, it seems like it's the same old fundraisers over and over and over again," Cpl. Shipman said. "They called me back the next day and said they wanted to use it for their special ed department and I said that's outstanding, that's what we need to do."
Cpl. Shipman, who worked as a school resource officer for a number of years at Valley View, said the way schools and businesses have jumped on board with "Back the Blue" is heartwarming.
"Everybody reads on social media and sees the national media about how bad police are getting beat up and I just go, I don't live there. I don't know what that's like," Cpl. Shipman said. "When I came up with this shirt and introduced it and it took off like it did, it just went back and reinforced what I already knew...that we live in a blessed community. We live in a community that backs the blue."
When the Valley View School District decided to sell Back the Blue shirts, they changed the slogan to "The View Backs the Blue."
Proceeds will go to the special education department at the school district.
"And that's what I like about this shirt," Cpl. Shipman said. "It shows support for law enforcement, but the proceeds are about sharing and caring."
The first order of shirts arrived at the school Thursday. Within minutes, t-shirts were already being sold. In total, the school sold 25 shirts Thursday afternoon.
Tina Golden is the self-contained special education teacher for Valley View Junior High. Golden told Region 8 News that this shirt supports so many great things.
"We couldn't do what we're doing right now without the support of our community and to give back to our law enforcement is just a wonderful thing," Golden said.
Families Inc. sponsored the purchase of the first batch of t-shirts.
Because of their donation, all of the money raised through the first round of t-shirt sales will go to the Valley View special education program.
Golden explained that the money will help out with things like field trips, classroom items and assisting students' families.
If you are interested in purchasing a shirt through Valley View, contact the Jr. High Office.
You can also search more "Back the Blue" merchandise on their website. Money made from product sales goes to assisting people in Northeast Arkansas.
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