Sheriff hopes to spread drug awareness through community

Drug Form Color

Principal Dana Gresham and Colonel Hines host the new Drug Forum. Kelly Guthrie

On November 6, 2014, Hanover
hosted the 2014 Hanover Community
Drug Forum. Students, parents
and law enforcement from Hanover
County were invited to come and
share their thoughts, opinions and
concerns as members of the community.
“Educators, law enforcement, students
and parents are all meeting to
discuss drug use in Hanover County
and the best ways for addressing those
issues,” guidance counselor Shelby
Edmonds said. Overall, there were
nearly 200 students from high schools
and around 100 other community
members and partners.
After registration, the meeting
started with an introduction and
opening remarks made by Dr. Wilson,
superintendent of Hanover schools,
and Colonel Hines, sheriff. Wilson
shared the vision, which is to “Engage
community leaders, students and
parents in active opportunities to lead
safe and healthy lives.”
From there, Dr. William Bosher
gave the keynote address and provided
experiences and events in his life as
metaphors relating to drugs and how
they can affect young people’s lives.
Those involved in the meeting
then broke into ten groups of near
thirty and were asked conversational
questions in order to discover exactly
how and which drugs are being used
in the community and to brainstorm
solutions to these issues.
“I think teachers and parents will
be more aware of the struggles now,”
sophomore Elana Gant said after the
Questions such as “what are common
drugs used by people in the community?”
and “why do students in the
community do these drugs?” were
asked during the breakout sessions.
After the sessions, students met
back in the commons for lunch and
then made their way back to the auditorium
while their leaders compared
group answers.
Marijuana seemed to be the substance
most kids thought was primarily
being used. Students also believe
that most of their peers turn to drugs
in order to fill a “void” or for experimentation.
Many students in the breakout sessions
agreed about the issues in the
community and how they’re currently
being dealt with. Students agreed
that drugs are now a lot more accessible
than they were in years past and
that they can be found nearly anywhere.
However, there were also some
disagreements in these groups. Some
students said they were afraid to ask
any adults in the community or at
schools for help concerning drugs because
they do not want anyone to get
in legal trouble. Others said that they
did not think the schools were strict
enough when it comes to drugs.
“It taught me about how different
people under the influence of drugs
are versus people that are not. I hope
they will make the changes we talked
about to make our community safer,”
junior Taghrid Soliman said.
Students and staff alike are hopeful
that changes will be made in order to
better our community.
“It was a lot of fun and I’m hoping
that this will impact the community
in a positive way,” sophomore Jake
Fitzgerald said.



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