I just want to bring to light and let you know that there are more illegal drugs available to our high schools today than I can ever remember. I have I have been teaching for 12 years now. I have heard of or seen students in previous years that got “busted” here or “got caught” there, but never to the degree that has occurred this academic year.
Parents, I am asking you to please talk to your children about the life changing affects that can occur not only from prolonged use, but also about what can happen if they are caught with drugs on their person or property.
Read these statistics I have come across from the website www.athealth.com. There are stronger forms of marijuana available to adolescents today than in the 1970s or 1980s.
Stronger marijuana means stronger effects. Research shows that more than 40 percent of teenagers try marijuana before they graduate from high school. Marijuana has adverse effects on many of the skills required for driving a car. Driving while high can lead to car accidents.
Marijuana users may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers have, such as chronic cough and more frequent chest colds. Marijuana smoking affects the brain and leads to impaired short-term memory, perception, judgment and motor skills.
Marijuana messages that teens get are mixed, and this is definitely not helping the situation. They need to clearly get the message that marijuana is an illegal substance to use and it can affect their lives in more than one way.
If they do not get this message one way or the other, there are no chances for teen marijuana statistics to improve. Marijuana is more common than alcohol. You don’t need a fake ID to purchase marijuana.
Some of you might be reading this and thinking, “My child would never do drugs, they are in the Beta Club, captain of a sports team or cheer squad, class officer, homecoming court, makes honor roll and is active in church.”
My wife and I thought the same thing; our son was a senior class officer, homecoming representative, Beta Club member, two sport letterman and captain of the basketball team. Drug dogs brought to the school parking lot detected traces of marijuana residue in his vehicle on a device labeled as drug paraphernalia.
Due to the “Zero Tolerance Policy” of our school system, he was expelled from his high school and has to attend alternative school. He cannot go to the prom, cannot see his team play, and cannot even set foot on or at any school function at any school in our system. Yes, this can happen to your child.
We love our son more than anything and will help him get through this, hard as it may be. Love your child by talking to them, asking them questions that are uncomfortable for either of you, and let them know that you care enough about them so they won’t get busted.
Bryan Watts is a resident of Kathleen.