What Can Your School Do

A survey of school kids revealed these
are the stresses kids have...

No food
Bad hair day
New in school
You are broke
You have a child
School in general
You hate your life
You can't find a job
You can't find a ride
You have too many jobs
Someone intimidates you
Your parents don't listen
You don't fit in your jeans
You don't feel smart enough
There is violence in your life
You don't feel like you fit in
You have a substance abuse problem
There is preasure at school to use
You don't think you are good looking enough
You are to good looking and have to much of a social life
You have, your friend has had, your girlfriend has had an abortion
You have adult responsibilities like raising your brothers and sisters

School Policy

As with any place of employment, policies do not work unless they are read by employees. Some places suggest indroducing important pieces of school policy at teachers meetings and in report cards.

Policies are ineffective unless they are implemented and enforced. Consequences should be well known to students, teachers and parents.

If a teacher follows school policy, are they backed by administration and by the parents.

Teachers throughout Montana have shared that they have literally been afraid for their jobs or their physical well being because they called in the name of the "wrong" student.

"In 2001, students at Montana State University produced a video called,
Dark Cloud Over the Big Sky, which deals with the devestating effects of
methamphetamine use in Montana. They started out to get good grades and
then graduated. The video includes Cassie's story and interviews with
friends, ex-drug dealers and meth addicts. It shares stories and interviews
with other families. At the end of the process the journalists shared that
they ended up being changed forever..."

To order, "Dark Cloud Over the Big Sky" call 1-406-243-4081.


Some web sites available to teachers:

www.theantidrug.com/teachersguide (This is an excellent web site. It discusses the legalities of testing, if the school should test or not... "If testing can reduce students' use of illicit drugs, it will remove a significant barrier to academic achievement.")

This web site also provides a testing chart of urine, hair and oral fluid tests. It discusses the pros and cons of each. For instance, if you are testing for marijuana, the urine test can identify use easily, but with meth, it is not effective, because meth leaves the system in a few short hours.


Experts say the DARE program was never intended to be just for 5th grade. It was first developed to be a comprehensive drug education course for every level. (K-12). Drug and alcohol prevention experts will tell you that a comprehensive education plan in your school will greatly at-risk factors. www.sayno.com/

Alcohol is the number one abused drug of teens and also the number one killer. If you are interested in guides for education for underage drinking:

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) addresses the challenges faced by all the high school students who won't be drinking on any givin weekend.
(More than half!!)

Students Against Drunk Drivers (SADD) Students helping students make positive decisions about challenges in their everyday lives. www.saddonline.com/

Prevention Needs Assessment/Youth Risk Behavior Surveys

The Prevention Needs Assessment and Youth Risk Behavior Survey are excellent ways of referencing if your schools at-risk behaviors are declining. If they are not, the statistics will help with grant writing.

High at-risk statistics are not a reflection on the school, they are a reflection of what is happening with the adults in the community. 65% of drug use is still adults. Kids are role modeling what they are taught.

Don't be afraid to discuss the schools statistics openly with parents, the media and teachers. It is not the schools responsibility to attack the drug problem. It is the communities problem.

Support For Teachers, Administration and Parents

Does your school already have an intervention team?

The team in some schools consists of a drug and alcohol specialist, a school counselor, administration and the teacher of the child being confronted. Parents are brought in and respectfully, supportively told about the problems the child is having and what resources are available. They are also told that while their child is in treatment or goes to counseling, they will also recieve help.

One principal questioned the responsibility of the school as far as education while the child is in treatment. We researched it and found that if a child is sent away for medical or drug and alcohol treatment and needs special services for education, the dchool is responsible. Have you written to your senators about this? It is one issue that the Governor's Task Force raised. Parents should be responsible for their child's education if they are in treatment or if they have a medical condition.

What will happen if a teacher or administrator has a drug and alcohol problem at work? What is the level of support in the school and with the school board? Are they held accountable? Will they have a job if they come forward and seek treatment? Is this in your school policy manual?

From Someone Who Loved Cassie