District must confront substance abuse

Posted: Sunday, April 06, 2008

After reading the paper on Sunday, March 30, I am most concerned about the suicide rate of the youth in Juneau. In previous letters to the editor, I have stated that by the students' own admission, close to 80 percent of the high school is getting high on alcohol and drugs.

I find it interesting that the administration has refused to look at this issue and has said that overcrowding was the major cause of the high drop-out rate in the district.

The Juneau School District has spent more on the new high school, and still more is being asked to finish the auditorium, when that money could have been used to look at and address the main problem that is affecting our youth - drug and alcohol usage.

Several years ago, when I was working at the high school, an administrator showed me some pictures that were taken at a party where some teens were drunk. When this administrator confronted the parents, she was told that she had no right to worry about what their children did out of school.

It is time the district started informing parents and others in the community about the dangers of substance abuse and making sure our youth are safe from usage, which is so high in the Juneau School District.

Bill Burk


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