Tuesday, January 02, 2007

PPP - Parent to Parent in Pittsford - Let's talk

As our kids reach high school age, they are faced with new set of social situations (dating, peer pressure, substance abuse, etc.) which they do not know how to handle, or handle inappropriately.

Our guest speaker will be Scott Barker. Scott is the Director of Athletics for the Pittsford CSD. He is also Monroe County Public HS Awards Chairperson and Monroe County PHS Hockey President. Some of the topics that he will address are:

· Student/Athlete Code of Conduct
· Parent Communication of Code of Conduct violations
· Current process of violations and penalties
· The Parent/Coach Relationship
· Student Athlete Leadership programs

Approximately 18% of Pittsford students are on an athletic team.

When: Monday, January 22, 2007
Where: Spiegel Community Center,
35 Lincoln Avenue, Room #102
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm

No RSVP required. Just come and bring other interested parents.

If you have any questions or would like to be added to an email list, please call Larry Halpern at 704-1937 or lhalpern@rochester.rr.com

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

PPP - Parent to Parent in Pittsford - Let's talk

Parent to Parent Meeting

It was decided at last month’s meeting that it would be beneficial to invite a speaker to share what is going on the local community in terms of drug use.

Guest speaker: Deputy Dan Lyon, Crime Prevention Specialist, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. He has been with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for over 17 years and covers the areas of Pittsford, Perinton, and Penfield.

Drugs used in Pittsford are ranked:
#1 Alcohol
#2 Marijuana
#3 Cocaine and Inhalants
Examples of Inhalants include body sprays, “Red Zone”, “Axe”, mouthwash spray, acetone (nail polish remover) butane, crazy glue, “Duster” (computer keyboard cleaner), gasoline, “white out”, air freshener, spray paint, oven cleaner, paint thinner, cooking spray, and whipped cream in a can. The fumes can be inhaled through the nose or huffing through the mouth. Youth may fill up a coat sleeve and sniff it. Girls may put it on a hair scrunchie and wear it on their wrist and inhale it.

Thus far, methamphetamines have not been an issue in this area.

Deputy Lyon distributed a terminology worksheet to assess how much information group knew about drug slang terms.

Skittles: Over the Counter (OTC) drugs such as Coricidin HBP and Robitussin DM. Many times the Coricidin pills are taken and then followed by drinking Robitussin. Because the Coricidin is red, it is sometimes dissolved in Red Mountain Dew in order to disguise the pills. More popular among girls because there are no calories.

Rope: Rohypnol, “date rape” drug. It is a Schedule IV drug and illegal in this country. Produced in Germany and smuggled into the US via Mexico. May be dropped into drinks and person will never know. It is 10 times more potent than common sleeping pills.

Hot box: smoking marijuana in a car with all the windows shut and the recirculation fan on in order for the marijuana to keep recirculating. Another term is “boxing the blazer”.

Liquid X: GHB (gamma hydroxyl-butyrate) “date rape” drug. It is clear, odorless, and can easily be mixed in a drink without knowing. 1 capful = 6-8 beers.

Yayo: cocaine

Silly Putty: mushrooms. It is not illegal to purchase the spores which will grow into the mushrooms. Easy to grow kits are available from magazines such as, High Times.

Pharming: “Rainbow parties” are when people bring assorted pills, mix them in a bowl, hence the rainbow colors, and then chase the pills with beer. Very difficult if EMT is called because they have no idea what kinds of pills were taken.

Rit: Ritalin. It is often crushed and then snorted. Some sell their own and the high is similar to cocaine.

Blunt: Marijuana. Often times use tobacco leaf to roll the marijuana up in. Local smoke shops can legally sell paraphernalia under the “assumption” it is being used for tobacco use.

Whippets: nitrous oxide, used as an inhalant. Many times old canisters are found in parks, and along the canal. Need a “cracker” which opens the canister and nitrous oxide is put in a balloon and then inhaled. Can purchase the canisters and crackers on-line and at restaurant supply stores.

Ketamine: Legally used in veterinarians office as an anesthetic for animals. Used by youth as a sedative and vet offices were being burglarized for this drug.

Fetanyl: opiate in a time released pain patch. It is 100x stronger than morphine and often used for cancer patients. People will take used, discarded patches and squeeze out any leftover drug and either snort or smoke it.

Additional comments and answers to questions:

Deputy Lyon suggested getting spyware for children’s computer such as “E-blaster” or “Spectrasoft” if concerned and to help monitor child’s communications.

What can parents do if there is a party or a concern? Call 911!

Parents are responsible for whatever goes on in their house whether they are home or not. Homeowner’s insurance company will not cover any costs if something illegal takes place in the home such as underage drinking.

If an appearance ticket is given = arrest.

If someone is pulled over by the police, the officer can search if they see a “blunt” (marijuana). Everyone in the car can be arrested. Police officer must have enough of a drug in order to perform a field test. If the amount is too small and a field test can not be done, then no arrest can be made.

Don’t be afraid to “be a parent” and make phone calls to other parents. If suspicious, don’t let your child participate in the event, party, etc. Need to start challenging other parents!

Suggested resources:
Parents. The Anti-Drug: www.theantidrug.com
National Institute on Drug Abuse: www.nida.nih.gov
Partnership for a Drug Free America: www.drugfreeamerica.org

Friday, November 17, 2006

PPP - Parent to Parent in Pittsford - Let's talk

Next Meeting - Monday, 11/27/06 at 7:00 PM

As our kids reach high school age, they are faced with new set of social situations (dating, peer pressure, substance abuse, etc.) which they do not know how to handle, or handle inappropriately.

Our next meeting will focus on the Sheriffs who patrol our community. The guest speaker will be Deputy Dan Lyon, Crime Prevention specialist. Come join with other parents for an informal discussion on these and other topics.

· What do the local patrol deputies see?
· What are the abused substances that they see?
· How do you know if your children are using them?
· What leads to an arrest?
· What happens when the child turns 16?
· What happens when there is an arrest?
· House parties, Parks and Parking lots
· Young drivers

When: Monday, November 27th
Where: Spiegel Community Center,
35 Lincoln Avenue, Room #102
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm

No RSVP required. Just come and bring other interested parents.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

PPP - Parent to Parent in Pittsford - Let's talk

See No Beer, Smell No Pot…

Your teen is heading out the door to a party. You’re assured that parents will be home and activities will be supervised. And you hear “No, Mom, nobody’s going to be drinking!” You assume your teen is telling you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
According to recent surveys conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, and the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) at the University of Maryland, parents dramatically underestimate their teens’ alcohol and other drug use. “[Parents] have no idea how drug- and alcohol-infested their teens’ world is,” said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA’s chairman and president and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. “[Their] denial, self-delusion and lack of awareness…put their children at enormous risk of drinking and using illegal and prescription drugs.”
Consider these national findings:
• More than two-thirds of 12th graders reported past year alcohol use, while only 41 percent of parents thought their seniors drank. Similar results were reported for illegal drug use.
• 21 percent of students in the 6th grade reported that they had drunk alcohol at least once in the past year, yet only 5 percent of parents had a similar perception.
• More than two-thirds of 12th graders reported past year alcohol use, while only 41 percent of parents thought their seniors drank. Similar results were reported for illegal drug use.
• By age 17, seven out of 10 teens will have been offered an illegal drug.
• Ten million 12- to 17-year olds (38 percent) say they can buy marijuana within a day, and 5 million (19 percent) can buy marijuana in an hour or less.
• Most high school students (51 percent) and one in five middle school students (20 percent) attend a school where drugs are used, kept or sold.
• There is almost no difference in drug exposure or abuse between boys and girls, or among teens living in urban, suburban and rural areas.
According to Califano, “Substance abuse increases with drug availability, and parents, many of whom take the attitude of “not my child”, are often unaware of the problem, sometimes thus enabling it. Poverty is a factor [in teen drug use], but so is affluence. [Some teens] have too much money.”
On September 24, 2006, Rochester’s WHAM Channel 13 reported on a 2006 survey conducted by the Fairport School District that supports the national study results. According to the survey,
• 45 percent of Fairport students report drinking in the last month
• 93 percent of parents said their kids don’t drink
• 32 percent of kids said they use marijuana
• 92 percent of their parents said “not my kid”
“I think parents think that great kids aren’t doing some of these things. Our goal is to get parents to realize that all kids are susceptible to these temptations,” says Fairport High School Principal Dave Paddock.
Parent underestimation and denial can have devastating effects. Teens can be heavily into alcohol and other drug use before their parents detect it. And early alcohol and/or other drug use increases the likelihood of developing chemical dependence at a later age, according to the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Nearly 50 percent of persons who began drinking before age 14 will be alcohol dependent at some point in their lives compared to 9 percent who began drinking after age 20.
Party Perceptions versus Party Reality
Parents’ and teens’ perceptions differ greatly on the subject of teen parties. Though 80 percent of parents believe that neither alcohol nor marijuana is usually available at parties their teens attend, almost half (46 percent) of teens have attended a party at which teens were drinking alcohol, smoking pot, or using cocaine, Ecstasy or prescription drugs while a parent was present. 98 percent of parents say they are normally present during parties they allow their teens to have at home, but 33 percent of teen partygoers report that parents are rarely or never present at the parties they attend. 99 percent of parents say they would not be willing to serve alcohol at their teen’s party, however 28 percent of teen partygoers have been at parties at a home where parents were present and teens were drinking alcohol.
Califano says, “If your teen is having a party at your home, you should not only be there, but be aware of what is going on. And if your teen attends a party at someone else’s home, confirm that the parents will be present and that alcohol and drugs will not. The reality is that even when parents are present at a party, some kids will try to sneak in substances.”

For more information about the CASA, CESAR and NESARC surveys, visit:
http://www.casacolumbia.org/ http://www.cesar.umd.edu/
For more information about the WHAM Channel 13 report, visit:
For more information about hosting safe teen parties, visit:

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Parent to Parent Meeting Notes

The impetus for gathering parents for this meeting is :

  • Some parent’s don’t know what to do
  • What to do ethically?
  • How do you decide what to do?
  • What strategies have parents used?
  • How do we make parents care?
  • How can we get more parents involved?

    Lots of parents are interested, but many don’t know what to do.
    The purpose of this meeting is to get a conversation going without the affiliation of any other group or institution. It is not Parents Anonymous but meant as an entry level, information gathering meeting. Not here to educate kids. They are all good kids but are facing lots of decisions, pressures, stress and still need help making decisions.

    SHS is willing to help any way they can. Unlike prior summers, this past summer had a lot more incidents in the village involving substance use and vandalism. Parents need to be aware and call the school with any questions. However, keep in mind that the school is limited to some degree on what they can and can not do.
    Most recently there were quite a few students suspended at the homecoming due to substance use. In fact there were a number of empty beer cans found in the bleachers after the game indicating alcohol use by both parents and students. Unfortunately, some parents are not being good role models for their children.

    Discussion opened up to comments/ideas/questions:
  • How accurate is the drug and alcohol survey done in the schools every 3 years?
  • Not so concerned about the accuracy of the numbers…..bottom line, kids are using
  • A great deal of denial among parents…need to get “heads out of the sand”
  • Is a zero tolerance policy being carried out at school? Is it consistent across the board? Athletes?
  • Make resource officer available in the high schools
  • Would make an impact if students see their peers receiving consequences for their behavior
  • When parents go away for an overnight, houses become “party houses”. When unsupervised, many homes have been vandalized and caused lots of damage…..parents are liable whether they are home or not
  • Fearful a tragedy may happen and grateful one hasn’t happened yet
  • When homes are unsupervised, it can take only a few text messages before a full fledged party can be planned
  • Lack of parental supervision
  • Reports of kids drinking in area parks after school
  • In many cases there has been no criminal action taken by authorities, why is that?
  • Increased sexual activity, especially among girls and indicates issue of low self esteem
  • Open campus………using drugs during lunch is a concern.
  • Locker searches can be done with probable cause or parent’s permission
  • Alco-sensor (breathalyzer) can only be done on child with parent’s permission according to district policy
  • SHS will be moving to only Junior and Senior having lunch privileges beginning next school year, similar to MHS
  • Parents do Care began this way 9 years ago in 1997, bringing parents together. In addition to this group, there are other parents who support this idea.
  • As parents, what are we really going to tolerate?
  • Why are kids driving? Why do they have that privilege, especially if parents suspect something?
  • Does the affluence in Pittsford cause kids to use more than other towns?
  • Pittsford kids have more money/cars etc.?
  • High turnover of families moving in and out of Pittsford due to job relocations

    It was agreed that group would like to meet again. One of the main goals decided to work on with parents is their denial of the problem. An important question was raised, “As parents, what are we really going to tolerate?”

    Future meeting ideas:
    Invite local sheriff and judge to share what they are seeing and allow an opportunity for Q & A.

    List was generated among interested parents to be place on an e-mail list for further information and upcoming meeting date.
Parent to Parent…Let’s Talk!!

As our kids reach high school age, they are faced with new set of social situations (dating, peer pressure, substance abuse, etc.) which they do not know how to handle, or handle inappropriately.

· Do you want to be accurately informed about what’s going on in our community?
· Are you relying on rumors for information?
· Are you relying on students for information?
· Would it surprise you to know how easy it is for kids to obtain whatever substances they want?
· Do you really know what your kids are doing?
· What can I do? What have other parents done?

We would like to start a group which will provide an ongoing forum for parents to discuss these issues. Come join with other parents for an informal discussion on these topics and more!

When: Monday October 30
Where: Spiegel Community Center,
35 Lincoln Avenue, Room #202
Time: 7:00 pm

No RSVP required. Just come and bring other interested parents.