Thursday, April 26, 2001

Alarmed about drugs, schools involve parents

By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LOVELAND - Loveland Schools launched a four-part video and discussion series Wednesday for parents on youth drug use.

        “We have a district that is reawakening to say, "Let's help kids and parents,'” said Loveland Intermediate School Principal Warren McClellan.

        The eye-opener came in February when a sixth-grader at the school was found in possession of marijuana, Mr. McClellan said.

Gateway drugs
   • What: Video and discussion series on drug awareness. All parents invited.
   • When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. today, May 2-3.
   • Where: Loveland Intermediate School media center, 757 S. Lebanon Road, Loveland.
   • Information: 774-7000.
        “This is when the reality set in that scared me into thinking it could be any one of our kids,” he said in a letter sent to parents two weeks ago. “Today, marijuana. Who knows what tomorrow?”

        Before the February incident, Mr. McClellan said he heard stories of eighth-graders attending parties that had drugs and alcohol.

        One parent approached him, saying more needed to be done. Mr. McClellan stressed he has no evidence that drug use is increasing in Loveland Schools, but “there are drugs in Loveland Intermediate School,” his letter states.

        This year, Mr. McClellan, Superintendent Michael Cline and about a dozen parents and educators met to brainstorm ideas that that go beyond student-driven drug education programs such as DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). They agreed upon the video series.

Family involvement
        The series will be held for two hours or longer on four days in April and May. All parents are invited.

        The videos challenge parents to think about topics such as their children's interests, drug rehabilitation costs and what communities can do to prevent drug-related tragedies, Mr. McClellan said.


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