Seattle Public Schools says student pot use is on rise

by: Rob Munoz Updated:

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SEATTLE - The trend of alcohol and pot use at Roosevelt High School isn’t just limited to one campus, Seattle Public Schools is saying.
 
Instead, it’s a trend that’s being seen district- and state-wide.
 
Specifically, the issue of pot use among students is becoming worrying to school administrations.
 
Last week, KIRO 7 reported on a letter sent home to parents at Roosevelt High School in recent weeks.
 
In it, Principal Brian Vance said that the number of students being caught with, or under the influence of alcohol or pot has doubled from the year before.
 
At least half of those 24 being caught are freshman, he says.
 
Seattle Public Schools’ Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator Lisa Sharp says she’s heard from staff at every high school in the district.
 
"When I talk to my counterparts in the state, they're seeing an increase as well. It's not just Seattle, it's across the board,” she says.
 
Sharp says the issue is not so much alcohol -- those numbers have declined on recent self-reported surveys from students -- but marijuana.
 
"It's absolutely right that students have edibles and vaporizers and things on our campus and we're doing our best to be able to intervene and support those kids and learning about the dangers of those products,” Sharp says.
 
The most recent use numbers among students won’t be available until survey results are released next year.
 
But the numbers from the most recent survey in 2012 concluded that about a quarter of high school students have smoked marijuana in the past 30 days.
 
Sharp says judging by the comments she’s heard from staff and administration, it will definitely be one of the more closely watched topics.
 
Some of it she posits, could be attributed to legalization. But she also says it’s been more of a recent cultural change to see marijuana “as not that bad.”
 
No matter the problem, Sharp says the district is invoking programs and educating teachers on spotting the signs of use to cut the problem down.

 

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