November 30, 2011
There's a lot still to report on regarding drugs and kids in Bethlehem. Here's an update on the discussions that are being had:
1) Tuesday night, about 25 concerned parents attended a meeting at the Delmar Presbyterian Church on Delaware Avenue. The meeting was led by licensed mental health counselor Phil Mullett. Mullett's original presentation was going to focus on the things that kids are using instead of drugs to simulate getting high. While his presentation included mind-boggling stories of kids sniffing nutmeg and putting vodka in their eye to get a buzz, the underlying theme of the night was the recent developments at the high school. Near the end of the presentation, Mullett was asked by one parent what the community should do in light of the recent developments at the high school. He urged parents to push the district to address issues of drug use and made it clear that the best way to tackle these problems is to do so in a community setting outside of schools. More details on that idea in our story coming up for next week's edition.
2) Bethlehem Central School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Tebbano has offered more thoughts about what's happened at the high school in the past week and a half and also about the response from community and media. In a post on the district's website, Tebbano compares the past week to the story of "Chicken Little," who famously yells that the sky is falling on a regular basis. However, the comparison is not made to brush off what's happened. In the heart of the post, Tebbano makes four points. First, he says that the incidents and drug busts were handled through the district's Student Code of Conduct and through legal channels. Second, he points out that the district has held DARE programs at the elementary level to point out the seriousness of drug use and abuse. Next, Tebbano talks about the need for parents to be involved. Finally, Tebbano says the district will intensify its efforts by proactively enforcing school policy, educating students and making the community more aware of what the district is doing to counteract recent problems. Certainly though, the common theme is that this is not the end of the story. Here is a link to Tebbano's comments: http://bcsd.k12.ny.us/superintendent/notes/201112/111129_chieflearner.html