LITITZ, Pa. – According to the Center for Disease Control, Pennsylvania has the third highest number of opioid overdoses in the country, and while it’s not a problem in Warwick School District, administration said they are arming the community with education.
“We do see former students who get into some of those traps and make poor choices into their 20s. So, we want to make sure we do everything we can before that happens,” said Ryan Axe, director of secondary education, Warwick School District.
Another big issue in schools is Juuling, which are e-cigarettes that look like flash drives.
“Anything nicotine related, cigarette related, vape, Juul related, all leads to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing, and before you know it, kids can be addicted to some pretty harsh drugs,” Axe said.
School resources officers say the crown jewel of risky teen behavior is social media.
“Anything you put on the internet can be found,” said Peter Savage, school resource officer, Warwick School District.
School officials say many teens are moving away from text messaging and are using social medias apps to communicate.
It’s also a common for kids to have two Instagram accounts, one public and another, a finsta, where teens are more open to showing drinking and other bad behavior.
“I would suggest for parents to go into their child’s instagram and kind of look at the followers and who they’re following because a lot of times, they will be following their friends real accounts and also the finstas, the fake accounts,” Savage said.
Savage said the apps Kik and What’s App are especially problematic because they have no oversight and they allow kids to connect people all over the world.
“There are a lot of people who deal in child pornography who try to lure kids through these apps. Snapchat is another one that is being used a lot, but not just child pornography, I would be worried about human trafficking,” Savage said.
Savage said trust your kids, but don’t ignore your instincts. Find out who your kids are talking to on these apps.