First, let me thank the parents, community members, agencies and our County Commissioner that attended the school board meeting Tuesday night. Clearly, everyone was concerned about the recent events concerning our students and the drug issues that came to light through the Granby Police Department. Everyone there, desired additional information from the Chief, wanted to know more about how the school handles these issues or expressed a sincere desire to help. It was encouraging to see so many agencies represented.
As our Superintendent expressed, this is a community issue that is percolating through the schools. More to the point, this is a Colorado and National issue that is visiting every school in the country with the advent of legalized recreational marijuana, broad spread of illegal narcotics and the illegal use of prescriptive drugs. Additionally, we are in recreational community that brings a certain casual attitude toward such substance abuse.
So, you see the challenges. From my desk and walking the halls of this building, we respond to every report or reasonable suspicion as it arises. However, I need the help of a community. Reports that are vague, non-specific or recusing involvement makes our work difficult if not impossible to do. We are involved, this is our school, and our community. We have an obligation to keep it safe. If you have specific information regarding individuals, students or adults that are degrading the health and safety of our children, I need a phone call or by all means call the local police.
I know what I am asking. It is not easy in a small community. However, I’ve lived and taught in rural Colorado for close to thirty years, you have to be courageous and make the call. You may lose friends but we don’t lose a life.
People said to me, “I don’t want to get kids in trouble”. I understand that sentiment but “They are in trouble.” To quote Chief Kraker, “They are victims”. We need to bring resources to the challenge to help our students and keep our children safe.
As always feel free to call my office with any concerns.
To conclude, have we done enough to date? Regarding our kids, it’s never enough. Can we all do more in the future to keep our children safe? I’m counting on it. You can count on it from this office. Thank you.
-Thom. Schnellinger. Principal, Middle Park High School