In September, Burnet Consolidated Independent School District conducted its first round of drug testing, and, out of the 69 students tested, there was only one positive test for marijuana.
The good news is that the number of positive tests has decreased since the district first reinstated drug testing about five years ago.
The other good news is that BCISD, in partnership with Bluebonnet Trails Community Services, provides free drug use counseling for students identified through the drug testing program.
The bad news is that, over the years, some parents have refused the counseling services because they believe their children do not have an issue with drugs.
Since the beginning of school, our administrative team at the high school has confiscated approximately 15 vaping devices. It is against state law for anyone under 18 to be able to purchase vaping materials, and it is against state law for vaping materials to be at school. Unfortunately, we have had examples of parents coming to school to retrieve a confiscated vaping device, only to have the student reoffend again at school.
I share this information with you because the reality is every young person who has been caught with drugs or vaping materials or who uses drugs has an adult who acts as a parent/guardian. Two years ago, I challenged our parents to take action and be partners with us. Today, I am going to make the same challenge. I am asking that every parent/guardian of every young person in the Burnet school district have a conversation with their children about drugs and vaping. Not tomorrow, but today. Our young people need to know they can die if they use drugs, and they need to know the harmful effects of vaping.
In addition, I am also asking that parents/guardians search their children’s person, backpacks, and cars before sending them to school. Imagine if, by Friday, every student had been searched to ensure the safety of all students on our campuses. Imagine what a powerful message that would send to our young people — that we are all on the same team, pulling in the same direction. The only way drugs and vaping devices are on our campuses is when young people bring them to campus. We do not want drugs or vaping devices on our campuses.
If you need help having the conversation about drugs or vaping, please reach out to the counselor at your child’s campus for assistance. If you believe someone in your life is using drugs, there is help. You can contact Bluebonnet Trails Community Services at 1-844-309-6385.
The Burnet Police Department has been an outstanding partner in helping us address this issue, and it is committed to identifying and arresting people who provide drugs to others, but there are only so many police officers. There are more of us who act as parents/guardians who have direct contact with our young people every day. As a dad, I will be having that conversation, and I will go through my son’s backpacks and belongings, not because I don’t trust him, but because I love him. Will you join me?