DCSC Parent Safety Newsletter
Student Safety is Priority One!
September - 2019
Welcome to the new quarterly parent newsletter. This newsletter will be used to communicate information as it relates to school and student safety.
SRO Matthew Oliphant
Back-to-school brings a lot of worry and stress for many parents each year. Here are a few simple ways you can help to ensure your child has a safe school experience.
- Make sure that your emergency contact information is updated in Infinite Campus. It is critical that the information is current and always up to date. In the event of an emergency, this information will be utilized to relay important information about security dismissals, alternate pick up locations etc.
- Know travel routes to and from the school. Make sure you and your child know both primary and alternate routes. In an emergency, roads can be blocked and it is important to have a backup plan.
- Know and follow school security and safety measures. These might include signing in when visiting the school, being escorted when walking through the building, or wearing a visitor pass. Following these procedures also sets an excellent example for your kids.
- Talk to your child about safety. Be specific. Talk about instinct and paying attention to funny feelings. Explain what to do if they don't feel safe (find a teacher, call 911, etc.).
- Inform staff about health and emotional concerns. Whether your child has a food allergy, a physical disability, or has been subject to bullying, make sure to keep your child's teachers, counselors and principal in the loop.
- Be an active part of school safety by reporting issues. SEE SOMETHING...SAY SOMETHING. Even if it seems like it may be nothing, if it catches your attention then it is worth having someone look into it.
Cyber Safety Tips
Create a Mobile Device and Internet Contract with your child
80% of parents have never discussed Internet safety with their child. Talking to parents every year, I have learned parents are not having this vital talk with their child because they do not know what to say. The number one safety factor in any child's life is a parent that will speak to them about important, and sometimes tricky topics like Internet safety, bullying, drug use, vaping, etc. The Mobile Device and Internet Contract is a parent's script to opening a meaningful conversation about cyber safety with their child. Read each point to them, and then ask them to share their thoughts about it. Ask open-ended questions like, "Why do you think this is a good idea," or "what could happen if you let a stranger into your Instagram account?"
Use an Internet content Filter
Use a reliable content filter on the Internet coming and going from your home. I recommend using OpenDNS. It is free for families to use. Your router may already have content filtering built into it. Make sure you are using something. Not only will you block inappropriate adult material from reaching your child's device, but it will also block malicious websites that can infect your devices with viruses or malware.
It takes a village to raise a child!
When you are talking to your child about Internet safety and supervising their online activity, you are not only making your child safe, but you are also making every child in their social network safer. What if the parents of your child's online friends were also supervising their online activity? Your child now has an additional layer of safety. Recruit the parents in your network to be cyber safety conscious. Have an open line of communication with other parents in order to share concerns you may have regarding your child's cyber activity.
Current Drug Trends
The drug culture has changed a lot over the past few years. Hopefully this newsletter will serve as a way to keep you informed of some of the latest trends.
Hidden in Plain Sight
Marijuana culture has sprung up around us, though signs of it are not always easily recognizable. Clothing and other everyday items can be part of that culture.
There is a popular hat brand called "No bad ideas" that have a hidden “stash” compartment located in the ring of the hat. Not everything is so hidden, however. There are plenty of T-shirts, jewelry, backpacks, and other ordinary items geared toward young people that either boldly display obvious marijuana references, or keep the message more subtle. For example, 420 is something you may have seen before. It refers to April 20, and is known as "Stoner Holiday" or the universal day to smoke marijuana. 710 is a popular reference as well; it is the word "oil" upside down. Oil refers to one of the many forms of marijuana. Marijuana paraphernalia and even marijuana itself, in a variety of forms, can be purchased online.
Today’s marijuana culture is very strain-specific, as certain strains have very different effects on the developing teen brain. Indica (sometimes referred to as “in da couch”) is a plant that produces very laid back behaviors. Sativa, on the other hand, works as a stimulant and can mimic the effects of methamphetamine causing aggressive or erratic behavior and hallucinations. There are even hybrid strains that combine both with very mixed reactions.
The marijuana from “back in the day” was about 3 percent pure. Marijuana bought on the street today is about 15 percent pure, and sometimes “enhanced” with other substances. Those substances include Fentanyl (a synthetic opiate), cocaine, methamphetamine and other synthetic substances. If you go to a dispensary in a state that has legalized marijuana, you will see the concentration as the amount of THC in marijuana. Bud (dried marijuana) is typically in the 22-28 percent range of purity. Some forms, like waxes, oils, and concentrates can be up to 90 percent pure. Most are over 50 percent and include edible products and vape oils. The purity is relative to the potency of the substance.
Oils, Edibles, and CBD
Butane, which can be purchased at almost any convenient store, is used to extract THC from marijuana. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical compound in marijuana that causes the high. Extraction tubes, with a hole in the top and an open bottom where a filter is placed, are filled with marijuana and the butane is then run through it. The butane drips into a pan or a bowl where it is cooked down to produce the drug. What is left is a wax-like substance, which is THC. This concentrated extract is referred to as dabs. There are different types of dabs. The most common are shatter, wax, and butane hash oil. Dabs contain a higher THC concentration than other methods of using marijuana. Shatter is the most purified form of THC. Dabs come in different forms, but all depends on how it is made. Some forms of this look like black tar heroin.
Marijuana is also often consumed in a form known as edibles. The cannabis extract can be used in anything including different teas or drinks, but is most commonly found in the form of gummy bears or lollipops. This form of marijuana gives a faster and strong high , but can also cause hallucinations and agitation. People high on wax, for example, can become psychotic and wild, typical of the PCP days with people "out of their minds" or "tripping".
Emergency room personnel, first responders, and law enforcement are seeing this reaction in some people. It can cause extreme stomach cramps and vomiting in chronic marijuana users. There have been cases of very young children overdosing on what they thought were candy and becoming critically ill.
Vaping is another means of ingesting marijuana. It means vaporizing marijuana. This involves breathing in steam, or vapor, instead of smoke. A marijuana vaporizer machine heats the drug up to approximately 350 to 400 degrees. This releases the THC. One of the slang terms to watch for is kush, a sweeter smelling more potent strain of marijuana. Kush is a word often found on hats and clothing. It is a word most people are not familiar with in relation to drug use.
Tinctures are alcohol-based marijuana extracts, or liquid marijuana.
Moon rocks involve dipping a marijuana bud in extracted oil and then covering it in a layer of concentrated cannabis. While there is no perfect way to keep young people from using marijuana, it’s essential to stay active.
CBD Oil (cannabidiols) is gaining popularity across the world as a "legal alternative" to marijuana. Research has shown that there really are no "safe alternatives" when dealing with the developing teen brain. CBD Oil became available for purchase by anyone in the state of Indiana in 2018 as long as it meets certain requirements. Those requirements deal with issues such as labeling, product concentrations etc. There is no age regulation which means that a middle school child can legally purchase the product from a retailer who is willing to sell it for a profit.
Talk to your children about songs you hear them listening to, things they say during conversations with friends, etc. Open the door to these conversations by educating yourself on the current lingo, texting shortcuts etc. Don't be afraid to ask questions when you see red flags. Ask questions, be curious, be aware and sit back and listen. You don’t always have to run the conversation with your child, sometimes you just need to listen. You can’t stop the things you don’t know about.
SRO CONTACT INFORMATION
Rule the Road will be returning for the 2019-2020 school year. The event was a huge success in 2016 and we've decided to bring it back.
DCHS Rule The Road
Friday, Oct. 4th, 9am-3:30pm
100 Warrior Way
This event will offer DCHS students with a valid learner's permit or driver's license an opportunity to practice life-saving skills on a closed course with certified instructors from local law enforcement agencies. It will also reinforce and reaffirm safe driving practices, including wearing seat belts and not driving impaired or distracted through different stations geared toward each. Participation is free for students, but participation is limited in order to allow each participant to experience each station.
Printed forms are also available at the DCHS Office.