Summary from PTO President Bob Barman about the meeting by 8be89c015e72c297


									Notes from Waluga Parent Meeting Nov 18, 2008 on Drug & Alcohol Prevention

        Summary from PTO President Bob Barman about the meeting

We sent a very loud and clear message to our kids, our schools and our community that
we are committed to protecting our children from drug and alcohol abuse. On Tuesday
night approximately 400 parents attended our Waluga/Lakeridge community meeting to
discuss this very important issue. It was an amazing turnout; we love our kids, our
neighbors’ kids and we are going to stand together so that all our kids are safe.
We received over 12 pages of advice from the parents that we are proofing as I write. It
is amazing the talent and excellent advice we have received from so many of you. If you
were in attendance, would you please fill out the form and send it in to the office (closed
in an envelope) so we can get your unfiltered advice.

Jennifer, Blair, Derrith, Alex and I will be meeting next week to discuss our next steps
after reviewing your thoughts. I can assure you we will be back in January/ February
with our follow up. It is important that we stay together and expand this effort.

For those not in attendance, I will give you three top line ideas that you can use at your
home to help educate your kids.

1. The number one predictor of alcohol/ drug abuse is family genetics. You need to
educate your kids on your family history. Stop being embarrassed and tell them the
2. Keep your kids busy. Ian Lamont suggestion: school then sport, music, art, or
activity, then home, eat then homework, then sleep. I think you get the point. Don't give
teens lots of free time.
3. If your kids have a change in friends a red light should go off. Ask questions and
meet the new friend’s parents.

These are a few of the strategies. The most important message we send out to our kids
is that we are going to be there every step of the way. We need each one of you to join
this cause for your kids’ and my kids’ safety. Thanks Waluga Parents and Staff

                    Complete summary of the meeting follows

Who attended the meeting:
      Superintendent Dr. Korach; school board member Linda Brown
      Waluga Principal Jennifer Schiele and her staff – Vice Principal John Parke;
      Tristan Blash (health teacher)
      Principal of Lakeridge High School Mike Lehman and his staff Assistant Principal
      Eryn Bagby, Vice Principal Jason Wold, Athletic Director Ian Lamont
      390 parents – student body at Waluga is 567 kids

Meeting was hosted by the Waluga Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and the
Waluga Administration. The Drug & Alcohol Prevention Task Force who set up this
meeting and are developing an ongoing program/meetings includes: Blair Troutman
(head); Alex Schwarz (retired police officer); Derrith Lambka (publicity; surveys); Bob
Barman; Jennifer Schiele; John Parke.

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Notes from Waluga Parent Meeting Nov 18, 2008 on Drug & Alcohol Prevention

                         Highlights from Each Speaker’s Talk

Blair Troutman, the Waluga dad who planned this workshop, explained the purpose of
the evening and vision for the task force.

“One of the potentially scariest risks that teens face is the abuse of drugs and alcohol.
While we as parents may not face this issue with our own children, our teens
unfortunately live in a world that this will constantly be an issue in their own lives. We
believe that the best way to address this issue is to open up the dialogue with both our
own children, as well as all of the children in our community.”

“The environment that our children live in is complex. It is critical that we as parents and
members of the community support the school in helping teens address both risk and
protective factors in their environment. This task forces’ vision is to develop and
implement an ongoing drug and alcohol awareness program that delivers a
message of concern and support to all teens. We have called tonight’s meeting
“Opening the Dialogue” as a starting point for that vision.

Our collective purpose tonight is threefold:
1) To present to you background on drug and alcohol issues facing teenagers
2) To issue you a challenge as parents in our community to take an active role, and
3) To solicit input from you on what information, resources, and support you need to step
into that critical role.

Waluga Principal Jennifer Schiele and Lakeridge Principal Mike Lehman

Results of 2006 Lake Oswego survey on health (Waluga and LOJH 8th graders; both
high schools 11th graders) showed:

             Survey results *  Tried/had alcohol in Tried/used marijuana
                                   last 30 days         in last 30 days
               8 graders               22%                     5%
               11th graders            51 %                   30%
                Survey taken among Waluga and LOJH; Lakeridge and LOHS

   What’s of most concern is the trend of what happens to kids between the 8th grade
   and 11th grade. “We want to partner with parents so kids make good, healthy
   choices and reverse this trend.”

Ian Lamont – Athletic Director at Lakeridge High School
      Policy at high school for participation in all sports programs is that kids sign a
      pledge to not use drugs or alcohol if they play sports. It’s an honor system.
      The consequence of breaking this pledge is a 4 week suspension from playing in
      any games. The student is expected to attend all the practices and games and
      sit by and watch their teammates play.
      Busy kids don’t have time to do drugs or drink. “I recommend a daily schedule of
      school, practice, homework, dinner, bed.” Practice can be for sports, music,
      drama, another club. “The more the student is involved in, the higher the
      likelihood they won’t try or use drugs.”
      “Marijuana is called dope for a reason: dope sucks motivation out of kids.”

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Notes from Waluga Parent Meeting Nov 18, 2008 on Drug & Alcohol Prevention

Alex Schwarz
Alex is a Retired Clackamas County Deputy Sheriff. He was a Law Enforcement Officer
for 20 years, spending 7 years as a Narcotics investigator assigned to the Clackamas
County Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and the Regional Organized Crime and
Narcotics Agency (ROCN). As importantly, Alex is the father of Waluga 8th grader Ty.

   “The world has changed…drugs today are very, very bad. They are deadly.”
   Using drugs results in a life of poverty, filth, crime…drugs go hand and in hand with
   crime. They ruin families.
   Drugs are being used here in Lake Oswego. The Lake Oswego police report from
   last week reported two arrests for meth; 2 arrests for marijuana and one of those was
   from a high school.
   “When I went into a home to talk to parents of a young person we’d arrested for drug
   use they’d all say, “My kid’s a good kid. He wouldn’t do that. We didn’t know.”
   What’s important is that kids know why and how not to do drugs and for parents to
   take proactive steps now to help your child stay away from drugs and the people who
   use drugs.
   “For juveniles parents have the front line role, not the police. There is not police
   funding for DAR officers and police to educate. That’s up to the parents to do.”

Specific advice to prevent your child from using drugs:
   Be engaged.
   Set a family policy not to bring anything into the house that isn’t theirs – no stolen
   property; no bags from “this is a friends”. That way, if you find something, they are
   responsible for it being there.
   Tell them your expectations.
   When your child comes home, engage them. Stay up and make them talk to you
   eye to eye so they can show you they’re straight. This will help them also say no
   because they’ll know they need to face their parents when they get home.
   Get a home safe and lock up all your prescription drugs.

Things to know: deal with it before it’s a problem
   One of the worst influences is older siblings.
   If something seems odd, investigate it. Younger kids often use inhalants from paint.
   If they come home with a bag of paint cans, ask about it. These inhalants cause
   brain damage and are deadly.
   Marijuana isn’t a drug you want your kid experimenting with. THC, the
   hallucinogenic portion of marijuana used to be 2-3%. Now it’s 17% to 28%. 21%
   THC is classified as a “mind altering hallucinogenic drug”. Oregon is the indoor and
   outdoor growing capital of the world for marijuana. And we’re right in the drug
   corridor for traffic of drugs between Canada and Mexico.
   Kids start with alcohol and then add marijuana and then may mix prescription drugs.
   They lose all inhibition. And then get behind the wheel of a car. Kids crash and die
   and kill others every year.
   Pharma drugs kids take from their parents and siblings and get from their friends
   homes. They have “mixer parties” where everyone brings whatever prescription
   drugs they can get and puts them in a bowl for people to take a handful of. This is
   deadly! Then they mix alcohol and pot.
   X or ecstasy is a meth type of drug that’s a hallucinogenic that costs $10/pill.

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Notes from Waluga Parent Meeting Nov 18, 2008 on Drug & Alcohol Prevention

Alex talked about other drugs kids may be exposed to after drinking and trying
marijuana and prescription pills.
   Meth is truly “the devil’s drug…from one time use it destroys them and takes control
   of them…it’s so addictive and powerful they cannot stop.”
   Crack and cocaine kids can get
   Heroin is making a comeback and it’s now in a black tar-looking substance

Jeff Davis, Clackamas County Sherriff
Had talked to the school resource office at Clackamas High school who reported the two
biggest problems related to drugs at high school are:
    1. Marijuana
    2. prescription drugs

Within Oregon, meth quality is down and price is up. That’s good news. But that now
means that cocaine and heroin are more prevalent.

Specific advice on what to do to prevent drug use:
   o check their MySpace pages – they brag about alcohol and drug use there
   o check their text messages
   o always follow up with friends to know if they are where they say they are
   o there are drugs in high school parking lots being sold

Donny Wright, licensed drug and family counselor
Wright Counseling and Consultation Services, LLC
1684 Willamette Falls Drive West Linn, OR 97068  503-320-9190 phone

Donny Wright received his undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of
California at Santa Barbara in 1994, and in 1999, his Masters in Counselor education at
the University of Virginia. Over the last 9 years, has been involved in developing and
implementing several youth and family treatment programs in the Portland area, with
special emphasis on, family systems, stress management, and adolescent development
theories and interventions. Donny’s work has taken him to high schools, elementary
schools, non-profit agencies, mental health and addiction agencies as well as
governmental agencies.

What he hears from the kids who come to meet with him who have drug problems:
o Kids are learning drugs are not bad       there’s a need to have open and honest
  discussions with the kids
o Kids want to know if alcohol is o.k. for their parents then why is marijuana bad

The #1 predictor of substance dependence is genetics – having alcoholism and/or
drug dependency in your family. Children are at risk and you need to have an honest
talk about this risk with your kids.

Advice what to do to prevent drug use:
o “If you want to know, test them. If you don’t, ask them.”
o Look at the yellow sheet of 15 tips. Establish three family values and set up praise,
   rewards and discipline around these three core values. Children are confused – why
   are my values different than theirs? Talk to them about that.
o Set expectations for what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate for alcohol, drugs,
   and premarital sex

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Notes from Waluga Parent Meeting Nov 18, 2008 on Drug & Alcohol Prevention

o   Keep them busy – really busy with school, work, sports, hobbies, church group.
o   Let them know they can talk to you as parents and that you’ll listen. “Most of us
    need someone to listen. They’re able to do the work themselves of processing
    things and finding solutions…What they need from you is to listen.”

What to do if you think your kid is using drugs?
o “If you suspect, ask them…do you think they’ll tell you the truth? Collect their pee if
  you suspect drug use. Buy a urine test.”
o Be suspicious of changes in behavior for your child. Know your child. Are their
  routines and habits changing? It may not mean drug use, but check into it.

Meeting adjourned and parents were invited to stay for the “open house” portion
of the meeting to meet and talk with:

o   Waluga/Lakeridge school administration.
o   Alex Schwarz and Clackamas County police
o   Donny Wright

Parents were given two surveys to complete:
o Satisfaction with the meeting – how good of a use of their time it was. 34 parents
   completed this survey.
o Anonymous survey to help guide the future direction of the task force and the next
   meetings that asked them: their fears; their unanswered questions; specific
   suggestions for speakers and resources; their best practices and ideas their family
   find works. 39 parents completed and returned this survey after the meeting.

Notes taken by Derrith Lambka, Waluga mom.
Notes reviewed and approved by Waluga Principal Jennifer Schiele.

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