Students Present Drug Use Survey at School Board Meeting

Payton Serafini and Alexis WeathersSuperintendent Sheila Mitchell and Lee HahnSheriff Joe Milam

There were a number of special presentations at this month’s Anderson County School Board meeting, including one by students documenting drug and substance abuse at Anderson County High School.  The new Saving Our Students Youth Coalition, a recently created club at ACHS, presented to the board findings of a survey documenting drug and substance abuse that was distributed earlier in the year.

The SOS group, which is part of the Anderson County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy, was created early this year as a way to get high school students involved in helping prevent substance abuse.  Donna Crain Drury, who serves on the school board as well as AC-ASAP along with Downtown Lawrenceburg KY, worked with the SOS students to create a survey that would gauge self reported drug use among high school students.

Presenting the findings of the survey were two SOS students, Payton Serafini and Alexis Weathers.  They explained that a majority of around 68% of students reported they weren’t likely to use drugs with slight majorities saying they thought underage drinking and tobacco use as well as marijuana use was wrong for students.  They also explained that most, around 81%, felt little to no pressure to take drugs.

However, there was still a significant portion of the student population that indicated they were likely to take drugs.  Almost a quarter indicated they may use drugs and around another 11% said they were highly likely.  One of the largest factors the students found for the reason to take drugs was to relieve stress or anxiety.  Those who weren’t in any extracurricular activities as well as seniors had the highest reported rates of likely drug use.

As a group, Payton and Alexis explained that they have a number of plans to help prevent drug use in the future.  The group is working on a youth art contest, filming a video for awareness and education, planning a community forum, as well as working with the local extension office to put together a special Truth and Consequences Program for next Fall.

In addition to the SOS group, Superintendent Sheila Mitchell recognized board chairman, Lee Hahn, as he steps down from the school board at the end of the year.  Lee served on the board starting from January of 2005.  He helped ensure the safety and well balanced academic programming as well as extra curricular activities.

“I’ve been blessed to work with three different superintendents and different group of board members.  Even though we didn’t always agree on everything, at the end of the meeting, we worked together to make the district work for the betterment of the kids,” Lee said.  “When I came into the district, it was in good shape.  When I am leaving the district, I believe it is in better shape.”

Scott Luna will be replacing Lee for the 5th district this coming coming January.  Donna Crain Drury will serve as the chair of the board and Scott Brown will be vice chair.  Superintendent Sheila presented Lee with a commemorative lamp to celebrate his dedication to the school board.

Also at the meeting was new Anderson County Sheriff Joe Milam who personally recognized two school employees who helped with the recent Shop with a Cop Program.  He thanked Stacey Newton and Barbara Basham for their dedication to help children in need to have a great Christmas through the program.  “If they didn’t do the hard work as they do, then none of the kids would get help,” he said.

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Posted in Family & Community, School & Education.

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