East Syracuse School Resource Officer Makes National News With His Viral Dance Moves
Sometimes all you need to do is dance. A school resource officer in East Syracuse is doing just that to connect with his students and bring a sense of community to a weird year.
Officer Triston Campbell is a new, yet familiar, face around the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District. Just a couple months into his first year with the district, he's making it a memorable one by challenging elementary and middle school students to dance-offs, in hopes of connecting with them and earning their trust.
Pine Grove Middle School's Principal Ashleigh Wilson shared one of the first videos of Officer Campbell's dance-offs on Twitter, this time with a sixth-grader named Madelynn Schepp.
"He’s really getting a chance to know them on an individual basis," Wilson told WSYR. "It’s allowing those students to feel important, to feel cared about and again, that deeper level connection and in some ways just that fun dance is allowing kids to open up in a different way."
Officer Campbell's position is part of a long-standing partnership with the Town of Manlius Police Department, and his job involves much more than just TikTok dance-offs. He told WSYR that whether he's stopping by a gym class for an impromptu visit or helping out with a school's "Word of the Day," he wants to be someone students can put their trust in.
"Being a father, naturally, I just have a gravitation towards kids, towards children, and I wanted to utilize my capacity in a different environment, especially in the times that we’re in now as a society," Campbell told WSYR. "There’s nothing like it. I look forward to going to work every single day and these kids are pivotal in my life, where I’m at right now, and there’s nothing greater than seeing those smiles on their faces every single day."
Officer Campbell's moves and ability to connect with students has not only as landed him in the local spotlight, but gotten him national nods from CBS This Morning.
More kids are getting involved in Officer Campbell's dance-offs, and while there is still debate across the country about whether or not schools should have resource officers, the ESM district and Officer Campbell are helping prove that with a little bit of trust (and some pretty awesome dance moves), it can work.