Stephen Ellison

Marin County Parents Express Concerns About Drugs in Schools

School district holds meeting to discuss stategies for combatting student drug and alcohol use

A Marin County school district held a community meeting Tuesday night to address concerns about drugs in schools.

The meeting came in the wake of a party bus incident in Larkspur in June, where 34 kids ages 15 to 17 were on board along with drugs, alcohol and pills.

"I'm nervous for my girl, the culture that she is growing up in," said Laurie Dubin. "It's rampant; drugs and alcohol are rampant. We don't have drug-free schools, we have drug infested schools."

Tired of teen partying, Dubin started a group called Be the Influence, organizing parents who agree not to give their kids access to drugs and alcohol.

"I think parents want to be friends, not parents," Dubin said. "They want their kids to be popular. Or as long as they get straight A's, they think it's a right of passage."

It's the kind of exposure the public health department says can be a life-changing mistake.

The earlier in life someone is exposed to alcohol and opioids the more likely they will have life long dependency, public health officials say.

Teens also were at the table Tuesday night. Tyler Macdonald, 18, is looking for solutions.

"There's not a lot of fun things to do except go party and do something stupid," Macdonald said. "That's why I'm here. It's important to find other things for teens to do in the community."

Ideas and concerns generated at Tuesday night's meeting will be taken to a youth summit. Then all the information will be used to help develop a strategy aiming to prevent teen drug and alcohol use in Marin County schools.

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