Increased campus security and drug education programs conducted by law enforcement agencies will begin in California public schools within the next two months to reduce truancy and drug abuse, state Supt. of Public Instruction Bill Honig and Atty. Gen. John Van De Kamp announced Friday.
The two state officials were in San Diego attending a statewide conference sponsored by Californians for Drug-Free Youth.
The programs will target elementary school students, starting in the first grade, Honig said. The idea is to promote an interest in school at a younger age and to raise youngster's awareness about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
"This is an experimental area," Honig said. "We are looking for the right curriculum to cut truancy rates in half. There is not enough spirit in school, and we need to start that spirit earlier."
Honig and Van De Kamp agreed that the solution to the "deeply ingrained" problem of drug and alcohol abuse in California schools is not in scaring students into school but in educating them about the destructive potential of drugs.