In an attempt to help crack down on the drug and alcohol use in local high schools, Jamesville-DeWitt will join forces with Fayetteville-Manlius and East Syracuse Minoa. F-M High School will host the East Side Community Forum, which is a meeting designed to help educate and provide awareness to the community about drug and alcohol use. Everyone from parents to students to concerned citizens are welcome to attend. This will be held on Wednesday, March 30, beginning at 6 p.m. They will open with a substance abuse expo which will be followed by presentations at 6:45 p.m. Two 40-minute breakout sessions will conclude the panel discussion, which are scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m.
J-DHS Student Counselor Will Hartley helped make this forum a reality. “The forum was designed to educate students about drugs and alcohol and how they impact people's lives,” said Mr. Hartley. He thinks that drugs are a serious problem in high schools and a forum could create a positive change in local school systems. J-DHS Principal Paul Gasparini agrees and thinks that drugs and alcohol have always been an issue in high schools and, “it’s important to have constant awareness and to provide a resource to the parents and students in the community,” he said.
West Genesee High School previously held a forum similar to the one J-DHS will be a part of. Because drugs are becoming a more prominent problem in high schools around the country, the administration agreed that this would be a wise way to spread awareness in the community. “I was contacted by the principal at FM, Mr. (Raymond) Kilmer, and he asked us if we wanted to run a forum for drugs and alcohol and I thought it was a great idea,” said Mr. Gasparini. “Many schools have lost one of their students or alumni to drugs or alcohol and we want to try and prevent from this happening again to the best of our abilities,” said Mr. Hartley.
Mr. Gasparini wants this to “get the ball rolling,” in regards to awareness for students. He hopes that this will encourage the community to become more consciousness of the reoccuring drug and alcohol problems, and how serious the problem could be.