BCISD MESSAGE: Bulldog Spirit, Pride and Honor on display; dangers of drugs and vaping

You have heard me say it over and over: I love the Burnet community and our school district. I was most recently reminded again of why during the homecoming football game — or, should I say, before the football game.

I always get goosebumps when our band plays “Amazing Grace” before a home game, but I also got goosebumps this past Friday night when the Bulldogs team captains walked to the center of the field for the coin toss carrying with them a check in the amount of $5,986.83 to donate to Sonora flood relief efforts that included a $1,000 donation from the Rotary Club of Burnet. Barney the Bulldog didn’t think that sounded quite right, so he chipped in an additional $13.17 to make the total donation $6,000.

Spirit, Pride and Honor is about helping others, and while recovery from flooding is never easy, we hope that our donation will help ease the burden for the residents of Sonora.

At the end of October is Green Ribbon Week during which Burnet Consolidated Independent School District and the community will focus on the prevention of drug use. Students will participate in fun and educational activities Oct. 29-Nov. 2. On Monday, Oct. 8, BCISD will host a parent meeting on vaping and e-cigarettes. Research indicates that some teens who never would have smoked cigarettes are now vaping, and this can be a gateway to drug use. Besides health risks, using a vaporizer for marijuana can also be easier for teens to hide. They generally don’t leave behind a mess, and many vape devices can be concealed in the palm of one’s hand.

As you may know, the Food and Drug Administration recently declared that teenage use of e-cigarettes has reached epidemic levels. To help address this issue, we will share with students at Burnet High School and Burnet Middle School information about vaping and the use of e-cigarettes. The first group of students will be exposed to the Catch My Breath curriculum during Green Ribbon Week at the end of October.

Even though it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy or use e-cigarettes, we are seeing evidence in the district that a growing number of students are vaping. In addition to secondary students being exposed to the Catch My Breath curriculum, we hope that parents will join us for the parent meeting from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 in the BCISD board room, 208 E. Brier. During the session, you will learn about the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping for young people and how to talk to your children about vaping without lecturing. In addition, a parent of a young person dealing with nicotine dependence caused by vaping will share her story.

I hope that you will be able to join us for this short but informational session.

On Monday, Oct. 15, the Board of Trustees will hold its annual Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) Hearing at 6:30 p.m. and its regular board meeting at 6:45 p.m. at Bertram Elementary School. As you may know, the Board of Trustees traditionally holds its October meeting in Bertram to make it easier for Bertram residents to attend a school board meeting. Once again, BCISD has received a superior rating for financial integrity, and the hearing will provide details about that accomplishment. In addition, the board will be receiving a formative report on student achievement in the district along with a review of district and campus improvement plans.

Mark your calendars now for a return of the docudrama “SCREENAGERS.” Just over 10 years ago, the iPhone debuted, and, since then, smartphones and tablets have become an inseparable part of our lives, especially for our young people. The question is at what cost? The average young person spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. The phenomenon is relatively new, and we are just starting to understand some of the negative consequences of so much screen time. BCISD wants to help families begin to have conversations about the impact of screen time on our youth and ways to manage it. “SCREENAGERS” is a docudrama that explores the impact of digital devices on youth and families. BCISD is hosting a free screening of the 67-minute docudrama at the Burnet Middle School auditorium on Monday, Nov. 5, at 6 p.m.

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