Virginia Teens Need MIP Classes

by: Mike Miller

Teens are a hard group to get through.  If you are a teenager now, you think you know it all, and even if you don’t, you’re young and things will work out.  If you’re an adult trying to get through to a teen, good luck.  The best advice is to never give up – try, try, try!

In Virginia, like the rest of the country, drug and alcohol use and abuse among teens is at record levels.

According to the Washington Examiner, in the Alexandria City Public Schools drug and alcohol-related incidents more than doubled in the past two years.

With respect to drinking, smoking and taking drugs on school grounds -- or simply bringing the contraband to class -- the number of infractions jumped from 26 in 2008-2009 to 32 in 2009-2010, before hitting a record 52 last year.

Students suspended for having or using drugs on campus are usually out for less than 10 days, and are permitted to return as soon as they show they've sought treatment.

On the bright side,  Arlington County Public Schools saw 67 drug, tobacco and alcohol infractions last school year, down from 101 the prior year and 82 in 2008-2009.

Another bright spot in Virginia is Fairfax County Public Schools, where offenses dropped to 788 from 915 in 2009-2010 and 999 in 2008-2009.

Increased alcohol and drug awareness is always a step in the right direction to help bring down the numbers.  Hopefully with more Virginia Minor in Possession classes, and greater parent vigilance and responsibility we can work toward keeping our kids healthy and sober.